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Game system, server, gaming machine

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Title: Game system, server, gaming machine.
Abstract: A new gaming environment is provided. A server obtains a payout rate from each of gaming machines, determines winning probability of bonus in each of the gaming machines based on the obtained payout rate, and sends the determined winning probability of bonus to each gaming machine. Also, a gaming machine determines whether or not the bonus is won based on the received winning probability. If the bonus is won, a predetermined number of gaming medium is provided. ...

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USPTO Applicaton #: #20090318233 - Class: 463 42 (USPTO) - 12/24/09 - Class 463 
Amusement Devices: Games > Including Means For Processing Electronic Data (e.g., Computer/video Game, Etc.) >With Communication Link (e.g., Television Broadcast, Etc.) >Network Type (e.g., Computer Network, Etc.)



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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20090318233, Game system, server, gaming machine.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is based upon and claims a priority from the U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/075139 filed on Jun. 24, 2008, the entire contents thereof are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.

BACKGROUND

1. Field

One or more aspects of the invention relate to a game system, a server, and a gaming machine in which a winning probability of bonus in each gaming machine is determined based on the payout rate of each gaming machine.

2. Description of Related Art

There are slot machines in which bonus occurs in a predetermined condition to enhance an entertainment aspects. Also, a probability of occurrence of the bonus is controlled based on the bet number in some of the conventional slot machines. Also, to attract players, a game system, and a server, and a gaming machine which has new feature is anticipated.

SUMMARY

In view of the foregoing, one or more aspects of the invention relate to a game system, a server, a gaming machine, a gaming method thereof, a computer readable medium having computer-executable instructions or the like in which a new gaming environment is provided.

A game system according to one or more aspects of the invention comprises gaming machines and a server connected to the plural gaming machines. The server obtains a payout rate from one of the gaming machines, determines a winning probability of a bonus in the one of the gaming machines based on the obtained payout rate, and sends the determined winning probability of the bonus to the one of the gaming machines. The gaming machine determines whether or not the bonus is won based on the received winning probability of the bonus, and provides a predetermined number of gaming medium when the bonus is won.

Herewith, since the winning probability of bonus is determined based on the payout rate in each gaming machine, the entertainment character may be enhanced, and may attract more players.

A server according to one or more aspects of the invention is connected to the gaming machines. The server obtains a payout rate from one of the gaming machines, determines a winning probability of a bonus in the one of the gaming machines based on the obtained payout rate, and sends the determined winning probability of the bonus to the one of the gaming machines.

Herewith, since the winning probability of bonus is determined based on the payout rate in each gaming machine, the entertainment character may be enhanced, and may attract more players.

A gaming machine according to one or more aspects of the invention is connected to a server. The gaming machine sends a payout rate, receives a winning probability of a bonus, determines whether or not the bonus is won based on the received winning probability of the bonus, and provides a predetermined number of gaming medium when the bonus is won.

Herewith, since the winning probability of bonus is determined based on the payout rate in each gaming machine, the entertainment character may be enhanced, and may attract more players.

One or more of the above aspects of the disclosure is more fully described in the following detailed description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for purpose of illustration only and not intended as a definition of the limits of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the objects, advantages and principles of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a flowchart of a server base process in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic structure view of a game system in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 3 is an external perspective view of the game system in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 4 is an external perspective view of a slot machine in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram schematically showing an internal constitution of the game system in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a block diagram schematically showing an internal constitution of the slot machine in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram schematically showing the internal constitution of the slot machine in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart of a main control process of the game system in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart of a winning probability renewing process of the game system in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 10 is a flowchart of a main game process of the game system in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 11 is an explanatory view of a first table in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 12 is an explanatory view of a second table in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 13 is an explanatory view of the first table in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 14 is a flowchart of the server base process in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 15 is an explanatory view of the second table in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

FIG. 16 is an explanatory view of the first table in accordance with one or more aspects of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The various aspects summarized previously may be embodied in various forms. The following description shows by way of illustration of various combinations and configurations in which the aspects may be practiced. It is understood that the described aspects and/or embodiments are merely examples, and that other aspects and/or embodiments may be utilized and structural and functional modifications may be made, without departing from the scope of the present disclosure.

It is noted that various connections are set forth between items in the following description. It is noted that these connections in general and, unless specified otherwise, may be direct or indirect and that this specification is not intended to be limiting in this respect.

A gaming machine, a server, and a game system according to one or more aspects of the invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings based on an embodiment embodying one or more aspects of the invention. However, it is appreciated that one or more aspects of the invention may be embodied in distributable (via CD and the like) or downloadable software games, console games, and the like. In this regard, the slot machine may be a virtual slot machine that is displayed on a multi-purpose computer and/or dedicated kiosk. Aspects of the invention are described by way of hardware elements. However, it is appreciated that these elements may also be software modules that are executable in a computer. The software modules may be stored on a computer readable medium, including but not limited to a USB drive, CD, DVD, computer-readable memory, tape, diskette, floppy disk, and the like. For instance, aspects of the invention may be embodied in a JAVA-based application or the like that runs in a processor or processors. Further, the terms “CPU”, “processor”, and “controller” are inclusive by nature, including at least one of hardware, software, or firmware. These terms may include a portion of a processing unit in a computer (for instance, in multiple core processing units), multiple cores, a functional processor (as running virtually on at least one of processor or server, which may be local or remote). Further, in network-based gaming systems, the processor may include only a local processor, only a remote server, or a combination of a local processor and a remote server.

It is contemplated that one or more aspects of the invention may be implemented as computer executable instructions on a computer readable medium such as a non-volatile memory, a magnetic or optical disc. Further, one or more aspects of the invention may be implemented with a carrier signal in the form of, for instance, an audio-frequency, radio-frequency, or optical carrier wave.

First Embodiment

Hereinafter, the first embodiment embodying one or more aspects of the invention will be described with reference to the drawings. Also, winning probability of bonus may mean a probability of occurrence of the bonus.

In the first embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, in server 91, when payout rate information is received from any of the slot machines (S31: YES), a first table is renewed (S32). And, winning probability information is sent to the slot machine 1 which sent the payout rate information based on content of the renewed first table, (S33).

A schematic structure of a game system 100 according to the embodiment will be explained in detail with reference to the drawings. FIG. 2 is a schematic structure view of the game system 100 according to the embodiment. FIG. 3 is an external perspective view of the game system 100 according to the embodiment.

As shown in FIG. 2, the game system 100 according to the embodiment includes plural slot machines 1, a server 91 and a large-size display 95. The plural slot machines 1, a server 91 and a large-size display 95 are arranged in the game hall. Each of the slot machines 1 is connected to the server 91 via the net work 400 so as to be capable of communicating with each other. Also a large-size display 95 is connected to the server 91. Here, different types of slot machine 1 (namely slot machines with different reels, winning combinations, winning probability and the like) can be connected to the server 91.

As shown in FIG. 3, the large-size display 95 is provided above the plural slot machines 1. The large-size display 95 is a well-known large-size liquid crystal display, and displays a variety of gaming information in the game system 100 (for example, rules of the game, game result of each slot machine 1 and the like).

Next, the slot machine 1 which constructs the game system 100 according to the embodiment will be explained in detail with reference with the drawing. FIG. 4 is an external perspective view of the slot machine 1 according to the embodiment.

The slot machine 1 according to the embodiment is an upright type slot machine which is provided in the game hall such as the casino. The slot machine 1 includes a cabinet 2, a main door 3, and a topper effect device 4. The main door 3 is arranged in front of the cabinet 2. The topper effect 4 is arranged above the cabinet 2.

The cabinet 2 is a housing portion which houses the electric or the mechanic components for executing the predetermined gaming modes in the slot machine 1.

The slot machine 1 includes an upper display 10A, a main display 10B and a lower back panel 10C at the front side of the cabinet 2 to display various gaming information. The upper display 10A is arranged on the upper column of the cabinet 2, the main display 10B is arranged on the middle column of the cabinet 2 and the lower back panel 10C is arranged on the lower column of the cabinet 2.

The upper display 10A is constructed from the liquid crystal panel. The effect images, the payout table in the game, the game rules and the like are displayed on the upper display 10A.

The main display 10B is constructed from the liquid crystal panel. Plural reel display portions, for example, are displayed on the main display 10B. The variable display and the stop display of the symbol rows are displayed on each of the reel display portions. For example, three symbols are displayed on the reel display portion. In other words, symbols are displayed in a 3×5 matrix shape on the main display 10B. The number of the reels and the number of the display symbols on each reel display portion are variable.

A touch panel 18 is arranged on the front side of the liquid crystal panel on the main display 10B. A player can input various instructions by operating the touch panel 18. Also a payout number display portion 19 and a credit number display portion 20 are provided on the main display 10B. The display position of the payout number display portion 19 and the credit number display portion 20 are arbitrary. For example, the payout number display portion 19 and the credit number display portion 20 may be arranged on the right lower portion of the main display 10B. Also a bet number display portion which displays the bet number may also be provided. The payout number provided to the player may be displayed on the payout number display portion 19. And the credit number which is presently owned by the player is displayed on the credit number display portion 20.

The upper display 10A and the main display 10B, for example, are constructed from the liquid crystal panel As described above, however, this disclosure is not limited to the liquid crystal panel. In other words, either display portion may also be the CRT display, the plasma display, the LED display, and the other well-known display device.

The lower back panel 10C is arranged on the lower column of the cabinet 2, and is constructed from a plastic panel. The drawings of the characters relating to the gaming machine, the name of the gaming machine and the like are displayed on the lower back panel 10C, and are lighted by the back lights. The lower back panel 10C may also be the liquid crystal panel, the CRT display, the plasma display, the LED display, and the other well-known display device.

Further, the main display 10B may also be configured as a hybrid type which is constructed from a mechanical reel and a transparent liquid crystal display device arranged in front of the mechanical reel. As a result, the symbols displayed on the mechanical reel may be visible via the transparent liquid crystal display device. Display windows which equals to the number of the mechanical reel are arranged on the transparent liquid crystal display device, so that the symbols displayed on the mechanical reel may be visible via the display windows. The slot machine using video reels will be mainly described in the below description, however, the invention may also be applied to the slot machines using the mechanical reels as much as possible. When mechanical reels are used, the rotation or the stop of the mechanical reels is controlled by a motor which is not shown.

Also, an operation table 25 is arranged in front of the cabinet 2. The operation table 25 is arranged to extend forward between the main display 10B and the lower back panel 10C. Plural types of operation button 26 are provided on the operation table 25. The operation buttons 26 include a BET button, a collect button, a start button, a CASHOUT button and the like. A coin insertion slot 27 and a bill insertion slot 28 are arranged on the operation table 25. The coin insertion slot 27 receives coins which are the gaming media to the cabinet 2. And, the bill insertion slot 28 is used to receive the bills to the cabinet 2.

Further, coins, bills or electronic value (credits) which are equivalent to coins or bills are used as the gaming media in the game system 100 (including the slot machine 1) according to the embodiment. However, the gaming media applicable in one or more aspects of the invention are not limited to coins, bills or electronic value. For example, the gaming media may also be medals, tokens, electric moneys, and tickets.

A coin tray 29 is provided at the bottommost of the cabinet 2. The coin tray 29 is used to receive the coins paid out by a hopper 64. A light emitting portion 30 is provided around the cabinet 2 of the slot machine 1. The light emitting portion 30 is lighted up in a predetermined lighting mode when the player wins the game or during the event game. Further, a speaker 31 is provided on the side surface of the cabinet 2. The speaker 31 outputs sound in accordance with the progressing of the game.

The topper effect device 4 has a rectangular board shape, and is arranged almost parallel to the upper display 10A.

Next, the internal constitution of the game system 100 according to the embodiment will be explained in detail with reference to the drawing. FIG. 5 is a block diagram schematically showing the internal constitution of the game system 100. As shown in FIG. 5, the game system 100 includes the server 91. The server 91 controls the entirety of the game system 100.

The server 91 is constructed from a server CPU 92, a server ROM 93, and a server RAM 94. The server ROM 93 stores necessary control programs for controlling the entirety of the game system 100 and the data tables. For example, the program for the server base process to be described later is stored. The server CPU 92 executes the various control programs stored in the server ROM 93.

The server RAM 94 temporarily stores the calculation results and the like when the various control programs are executed by the server CPU 92. A first table and a second table are stored in the server RAM 94.

Plural slot machines 1 are connected to the sever 91. The server 91 sends and receives various data with the plural slot machines 1.

The large-size display 95 is connected to the server 91. The display content of the large-size display 95 is controlled by the server 91.

A timer 97 is connected to the sever 91. The server 91 obtains the current time data by referring to the timer 97.

Next, the internal constitution of the slot machine 1 according to the embodiment will be explained in detail with reference to the drawings. FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 are block diagrams showing the internal constitution of the slot machine 1.

As shown in FIG. 6, the slot machine 1 includes plural constitution elements around the main control board 71.

A controller 41 includes a main CPU 42, a ROM 43, a RAM 44. The main CPU 42 inputs or outputs signals with other constitution elements via I/O port 49, and executes the programs stored in the ROM 43. The main CPU 42 serves as a control center of the slot machine 1. The RAM 44 stores temporarily the data and the programs when the main CPU 42 runs. For example, the RAM 44 temporarily stores the random number value sampled by a sampling circuit 46 to be described later. And the identification number of the slot machine 1 is stored in the ROM 43 or the RAM 44. The ROM 43 stores the programs executed by the main CPU 42 and the permanent data.

The main control board 71 includes a random number generation circuit 45, a sampling circuit 46, a clock pulse generation circuit 47 and a frequency divider 48.

The random number generation circuit 45 operates based on the instruction of the main CPU 42, and generates a predetermined range of random numbers. The sampling circuit 46 extracts an arbitrary random number from the random numbers generated by the random number generation circuit 45 based on the instruction of the main CPU 42. The sampling circuit 46 input the extracted random number to the main CPU 42. The clock pulse generation circuit 47 generates a basic clock to run the main CPU 42. The frequency divider 48 divides the basic clock in a predetermined frequency, and inputs the divided signals to the main CPU 42.

The touch panel 18 is connected to the main control board 71. The touch panel 18 may specify the coordinate position of the part to which the player touches. The touch panel 18 may determine the portion to which the player touches based on the specified coordinate position information, and determines the direction to which the touched place moves. The touch panel 18 inputs the signal corresponding to the determination result via the I/O port 49 to the main CPU 42.

The operation button 26 is connected to the main control board 71. As described above, the operation button 26 includes the start button, the collect button, the BET button and the like to instruct the execution of the game. When each button included in the operation buttons 26 is pressed, the operation signal is input to the main CPU 42 via the I/O port 49.

A communication interface 68 is connected to the main control board 71. The communication interface 68 is used to receive or send various data with the sever 91.

The main control board 71 also includes an illumination effect driving circuit 61, a hopper driving circuit 63, a payout completion signal circuit 65 and a display portion driving circuit 67.

The illumination effect driving circuit 61 outputs effect signals to the above-mentioned light emitting portion 30 and the topper effect device 4. And the topper effect device 4 is serially connected to the illumination effect driving circuit 61 through light emitting portions 30. When the effect signal is input, the light emitting portions 30 and the topper effect device 4 emit light in a predetermined light emitting mode. As a result, the slot machine 1 executes light emitting effect in accordance with the progressing of the game.

The hopper driving circuit 63 drives the hopper 64 based on the control of the main CPU 42. The hopper 64 executes the payout of coins, and thereby, coins are paid out to the coin tray 29. The display portion driving circuit 67 executes the display control of various display portions such as the payout number display portion 19, the credit number display portion 20 and the like.

A coin detecting portion 66 is connected to the payout completion signal circuit 65. The coin detecting portion 66 calculates the number of the coins paid out by the hopper 64. The coin detecting portion 66 inputs the data of the number of coins which is calculated to the payout completion signal circuit 65. The payout completion signal circuit 65 determines whether the predetermined number of coins is paid out or not based on the data of the number of coins input by the coin detecting portion 66. When the coins with a predetermined number are all paid out, the signal indicating the completion of the coins is input to the main CPU 42 by the payout completion signal circuit 65.

A sub-control board 72 is connected to the main control board 71. The sub-control board 72 is formed on a circuit board different from that of the main control board 71. The display control of the upper display 10A, the main display 10B and the output control of sound by the speaker 31 are executed by the sub-control board 72, based on the commands input from the main control board 71.

As shown in FIG. 7, the sub-control board 72 includes a microcomputer 73 (abbreviated as “sub-microcomputer” hereinafter) as a main constitution element. The sub-microcomputer 73 includes a sub-CPU 74, a program ROM 75, a work RAM 76, an IN port 77 and an OUT port 80. The sub-CPU 74 executes the control operations based on the control orders (commands) sent from the main control board 71. The program ROM 75 stores the control programs executed by the sub-CPU 74. The work RAM 76 is configured as a temporary storing device when the above control programs are executed by the sub-CPU 74.

The sub-control board 72 executes the random number sampling on the running program of the sub-CPU 74. As a result, the sub-control board 72 may execute the same processes as the processes executed by the clock pulse generation circuit 47, the frequency divider 48, the random number generation circuit 45, and the sampling circuit 46 in the main control board 71.

The sub-control board 72 includes a sound source IC 78, a power amplifier 79 and an image control circuit 81. The sound source IC 78 controls the sound output from the speaker 31. The power amplifier 79 is used as an amplifier for the output of the sound. And the image control circuit 81 is running as the display control device of the upper display 10A and the main display 10B.

The image control circuit 81 includes an image control CPU 82, an image control work RAM 83, an image control program ROM 84, an image ROM 86, a video RAM 87 and an image control IC 88. The image control CPU 82 determines the images displayed on the upper display 10A and the main display 10B based on the parameters set by the sub-microcomputer 73 and the image control programs.

The image control programs regarding to the display of the upper display 10A and the main display 10B and a variety of the selection tables are stored in the image control program ROM 84. The image control work RAM 83 serves as a temporary storing device when the image control programs are executed by the image control CPU 82. IN port 85 is connected to the OUT port 80. Images corresponding to the content determined by the image control CPU 82 are formed by the image control IC 88, and are output to the upper display 10A and the main display 10B. The dot data used to form images are stored in the image ROM 86. The video RAM 87 serves as a temporary storing device when the images are formed by the image control IC 88.

Next, the main control process executed in slot machine 1 according to the embodiment will be explained with reference to the drawing. FIG. 8 is a flowchart of the main control process. The programs for executing the main control process are stored in the ROM 43 of the slot machine 1, and are executed by the main CPU 42.

When the power switch is ON (the power is turned ON), the main control board 71 and the sub-control board 72 are activated respectively, the controller 41 executes the verification read process of S1. In the verification read process S1, the main CPU 42 executes the BIOS stored in the ROM 43, and extracts the compressed data incorporated in the BIOS to the RAM 44. And once the BIOS extracted in the RAM 44 is executed, diagnosis of the variety of peripheral devices and initialization are executed by the main CPU 42. Further, the CPU 42 writes the game programs from the ROM 43 to the RAM 44. And also the CPU 42 executes the certification process to each program during the execution of the initial setting process.

In S2, the game program and the like are read out from the RAM 44 in sequence and are executed so as to progress the main game process. The game in the slot machine 1 according to the embodiment is progressed by the execution of the main game process. And the main game process is repeated to be executed during the power of the slot machine 1 is supplied. The detail of the main game process will be described later.

Next, the winning probability renewing process executed in the slot machine 1 of the embodiment will be described in detail with reference to the drawing. The winning probability renewing process is executed parallel to the above-mentioned main game process. FIG. 9 is a flowchart of the winning probability renewing process. The programs to execute the winning probability renewing process are stored in the ROM 43 of the slot machine 1 and are executed by the main CPU 42.

In S11, it is determined whether or not the payout rate is changed. Here, the payout rate is defined as an expectation value of the payout number to the input number of the gaming medium.

For example, in a case where the payout rate is 90%, if input number is “100”, payout number will be “90”.

The payout rate is stored in the RAM 44. The payout rate, for example, may be changed by a predetermined operation of a game hall staff. Also the payout rate may be configured to change from day to day. And the payout rate may be configured to change based on the difference value between the total payout number and the total bet number until now.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20090318233 A1
Publish Date
12/24/2009
Document #
12250958
File Date
10/14/2008
USPTO Class
463 42
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
63F9/24
Drawings
17


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Amusement Devices: Games   Including Means For Processing Electronic Data (e.g., Computer/video Game, Etc.)   With Communication Link (e.g., Television Broadcast, Etc.)   Network Type (e.g., Computer Network, Etc.)