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Publication numberUS20080139276 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/798,250
Publication date12 Jun 2008
Filing date11 May 2007
Priority date8 Dec 2006
Publication number11798250, 798250, US 2008/0139276 A1, US 2008/139276 A1, US 20080139276 A1, US 20080139276A1, US 2008139276 A1, US 2008139276A1, US-A1-20080139276, US-A1-2008139276, US2008/0139276A1, US2008/139276A1, US20080139276 A1, US20080139276A1, US2008139276 A1, US2008139276A1
InventorsKazuo Okada
Original AssigneeAruze Gaming America, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Gaming apparatus and control method thereof
US 20080139276 A1
Abstract
A gaming apparatus includes a server for causing a game to proceed and controlling the game, a device for causing a roulette game to proceed in accordance with instructions from the server, and stations. Each station is a terminal used by players, and causes a display device to display data in accordance with instructions from the server. A predetermined group including plural number pockets is set to have a higher probability of receiving a ball. When this predetermined group is changed, the server performs a hit determination. If a hit is selected in the hit determination, the fact that this predetermined group has been changed is displayed on the display devices of the stations, another display device provided in the gaming apparatus, and the like. If a miss is selected in the hit determination, that fact is not displayed.
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Claims(18)
1. A gaming apparatus, comprising:
a roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number;
a memory adapted to store a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for the roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set, so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball; and
a controller operable to:
cause a game to proceed using one of the plurality of control data sets stored on the memory,
make a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, and
notify that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed.
2. The gaming apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is operable to notify to a specific player that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, in a case where the controller makes a notification.
3. The gaming apparatus of claim 1, wherein the controller is operable to notify to all players that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, in a case where the controller makes a notification.
4. A gaming apparatus, comprising:
a roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number;
a memory adapted to store a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for the roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set, so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball; and
a controller operable to:
cause a game to proceed using one of the plurality of control data sets stored on the memory,
make a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied,
perform a hit determination, and
notify that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, if a hit is selected in the hit determination.
5. The gaming apparatus of claim 4, wherein the controller is operable to notify to a specific player that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, in a case where the controller makes a notification.
6. The gaming apparatus of claim 4, wherein the controller is operable to notify to all the players that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, in a case where the controller makes a notification.
7. A gaming apparatus, comprising:
a roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number;
a memory adapted to store a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for the roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball; and
a controller operable to:
cause a game to proceed using one of the plurality of control data sets stored on the memory,
make a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied,
perform a hit determination,
notify that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed if a hit is selected in the hit determination, and
control the hit determination so that a probability of selecting of a miss becomes lower than a probability of selecting of a hit.
8. The gaming apparatus of claim 7, wherein the controller is operable to notify to a specific player that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, in a case where the controller makes a notification.
9. The gaming apparatus of claim 7, wherein the controller is operable to notify to all the players that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, in a case where the controller makes a notification.
10. A method of controlling a gaming apparatus, comprising the steps of:
causing a game to proceed using one of a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for a roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball, the roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; and
making a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, and
notifying that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed.
11. The method of claim 10, wherein in a case where a notification is made, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is notified to a specific player.
12. The method of claim 10, wherein in a case where a notification is made, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is notified to all the players.
13. A method of controlling a gaming apparatus, comprising the steps of:
causing a game to proceed using one of a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for a roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball, the roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; and
making a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied,
performing a hit determination, and then
notifying that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed if a hit is selected in the hit determination.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein in a case where a notification is made, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is notified to a specific player.
15. The method of claim 13, wherein in a case where a notification is made, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is notified to all the players.
16. A method of controlling a gaming apparatus, comprising the steps of:
causing a game to proceed using one of a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for a roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball, the roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number;
making a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied,
performing a hit determination, and then
notifying that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed if a hit is selected in the hit determination; and
controlling the hit determination so that a probability of selecting of a miss becomes lower than a probability of selecting of a hit.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein in a case where a notification is made, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is notified to a specific player.
18. The method of claim 16, wherein in a case where a notification is made, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is notified to all the players.
Description
    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/873,570 filed on Dec. 8, 2006, and which is incorporated by reference herein for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention relates to a gaming apparatus such as a roulette gaming machine or a bingo gaming machine, and a method of controlling the same.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Heretofore, a roulette game has generally proceeded with a dealer throwing a ball onto a roulette wheel. In recent years, the game has been being automated, and gaming apparatuses have been proposed, in which a roulette game proceeds fully automatically without a dealer throwing in a ball.
  • [0006]
    Such gaming apparatuses include a gaming apparatus which launches a ball by using air, as disclosed in the pamphlet of International Publication WO/2004/094013. In a gaming apparatus in which a roulette game proceeds fully automatically, it is considered that each pocket preferably has an equal probability that a ball falls therein to be received thereby. Accordingly, such gaming apparatuses include one which is designed so that each pocket can have an equal probability that a ball falls therein. To achieve this, irregularities are provided in the surface of a ball track so that the behavior of the ball is disturbed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0007]
    An object of the present invention is to provide new entertainment value with attention focused on the probability of each pocket receiving a ball.
  • [0008]
    A first aspect of the present invention provides a gaming apparatus having the following configuration. That is, the gaming apparatus comprising: a roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; a memory adapted to store a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for the roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set, so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball; and a controller operable to: cause a game to proceed using one of the plurality of control data sets stored on the memory, make a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, and notify that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed.
  • [0009]
    According to the first aspect of the present invention, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, a change is made from the one of the control data sets to another control data set different from the one of the control data sets, and it is notified that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed. Here, the specific region includes one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets of the roulette wheel, and is set by the control data set to have a higher probability of receiving the ball.
  • [0010]
    A second aspect of the present invention provides a gaming apparatus having the following configuration. That is, the gaming apparatus comprising: a roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; a memory adapted to store a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for the roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set, so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball; and a controller operable to: cause a game to proceed using one of the plurality of control data sets stored on the memory, make a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, perform a hit determination, and notify that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed, if a hit is selected in the hit determination.
  • [0011]
    According to the second aspect of the present invention, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, a change is made from the one of the control data sets to another control data set different from the one of the control data sets, and a hit determination is performed. If a hit is selected in the hit determination, it is notified that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed. If a miss is selected in the hit determination, i.e., if a hit is not selected, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is not notified.
  • [0012]
    A third aspect of the present invention provides a gaming apparatus having the following configuration. That is, the gaming apparatus comprising: a roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; a memory adapted to store a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for the roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball; and a controller operable to: cause a game to proceed using one of the plurality of control data sets stored on the memory, make a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, perform a hit determination, notify that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed if a hit is selected in the hit determination, and control the hit determination so that a probability of selecting of a miss becomes lower than a probability of selecting of a hit.
  • [0013]
    According to the third aspect of the present invention, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, a change is made from the one of the control data sets to another control data set different from the one of the control data sets, and a hit determination is performed. If a hit is selected in the hit determination, it is notified that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed. If a miss is selected in the hit determination, i.e., if a hit is not selected, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is not notified. At this time, control is performed so that the probability of selecting of a miss becomes lower than the probability of selecting of a hit.
  • [0014]
    A fourth aspect of the present invention provides a gaming apparatus controlling method including the following steps. That is, the method of controlling a gaming apparatus comprising the steps of: causing a game to proceed using one of a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for a roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball, the roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; and making a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, and notifying that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed.
  • [0015]
    According to the fourth aspect of the present invention, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, a change is made from the one of the control data sets to another control data set different from the one of the control data sets, and it is notified that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed. Here, the specific region includes one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets of the roulette wheel, and is set by the control data set to have a higher probability of receiving the ball.
  • [0016]
    A fifth aspect of the present invention provides a gaming apparatus controlling method including the following steps. That is, the method of controlling a gaming apparatus comprising the steps of: causing a game to proceed using one of a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for a roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball, the roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; and making a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, performing a hit determination, and then notifying that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed if a hit is selected in the hit determination.
  • [0017]
    According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, a change is made from the one of the control data sets to another control data set different from the one of the control data sets, and a hit determination is performed. If a hit is selected in the hit determination, it is notified that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed. If a miss is selected in the hit determination, i.e., if a hit is not selected, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is not notified.
  • [0018]
    A sixth aspect of the present invention provides a gaming apparatus controlling method including the following steps. That is, the method of controlling a gaming apparatus comprising the steps of: causing a game to proceed using one of a plurality of control data sets in each of which at least one of a rotation condition for a roulette wheel and a launch condition for a ball is set so that a specific region including one or more predetermined pockets among the plurality of pockets would have a higher probability of receiving the ball, the roulette wheel including a plurality of pockets each previously associated with a number; making a change from the one of the control data sets to another one of the plurality of control data sets, which is different from the one of the control data sets, so as to change the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, performing a hit determination, and then notifying that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed if a hit is selected in the hit determination; and controlling the hit determination so that a probability of selecting of a miss becomes lower than a probability of selecting of a hit.
  • [0019]
    According to the sixth aspect of the present invention, when a predetermined condition is satisfied, a change is made from the one of the control data sets to another control data set different from the one of the control data sets, and a hit determination is performed. If a hit is selected in the hit determination, it is notified that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed. If a miss is selected in the hit determination, i.e., if a hit is not selected, the fact that the specific region of the one of the control data sets has been changed is not notified. At this time, control is performed so that the probability of selecting of a miss becomes lower than the probability of selecting of a hit.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0020]
    FIG. 1 is a flowchart showing a method of controlling a gaming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 2 is a plan view of a roulette device according to the embodiment.
  • [0022]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the appearance of a roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment, showing the schematic configuration thereof.
  • [0023]
    FIG. 4 is a view showing examples of control data sets.
  • [0024]
    FIG. 5 is a view showing one example of an image displayed on a display device.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of the roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram showing memory areas of a ROM of the roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment.
  • [0027]
    FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram showing memory areas of a RAM of the roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment.
  • [0028]
    FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of the roulette device according to the embodiment.
  • [0029]
    FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram showing memory areas of a ROM of the roulette device according to the embodiment.
  • [0030]
    FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of a station according to the embodiment.
  • [0031]
    FIGS. 12 to 14 are a flowchart showing game processing of the roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENT
  • [0032]
    FIG. 1 is a flowchart showing a method of controlling a gaming apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 is a plan view of a roulette device according to the embodiment.
  • [0033]
    FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the appearance of a roulette gaming machine according to the embodiment which shows the schematic configuration thereof.
  • [0034]
    It should be noted that in this embodiment, a description will be given of a method of controlling the roulette gaming machine as one example of the gaming apparatus. Although this roulette gaming machine is a stand-alone gaming apparatus which is not connected to a network, the present invention can also be applied to a gaming apparatus connected to a network.
  • [0035]
    First, it is assumed that a game is proceeding on the roulette gaming machine using one control data set. Here, the control data set will be described. The control data set is data in which at least one of rotation conditions for a roulette wheel 22 and launch conditions for a ball 27 is set so that a specific region including a plurality of pockets 23 has a higher probability of receiving the ball 27. In the gaming apparatus 1 according to this embodiment, a plurality of control data sets are stored on a memory. Each control data set includes the identifier of one specific region, and at least one of rotation conditions for the roulette wheel 22 and launch conditions for the ball 27 which makes this specific region have a higher probability of receiving the ball 27.
  • [0036]
    In such a proceeding state, in this embodiment, it is determined whether or not a predetermined condition is satisfied (step S101). The predetermined condition is, for example, that the ball 27 is received by the same pocket 23 (or the same region (one region is assumed to include a plurality of pockets 23)) several consecutive times, that a predetermined time has elapsed, that the amount of payout in coins or the like to players is small, or the like. Further, the case where the amount of payout is small may be the case where the amount of payout to only a specific player is small or the case where the total amount of payout to all players is small.
  • [0037]
    If it is determined that the predetermined condition is not satisfied (step S101: NO), the process of step S101 is repeated until the predetermined condition is determined to be satisfied. On the other hand, if it is determined that the predetermined condition is satisfied (step S101: YES), a change is made from the control data set used in the currently proceeding game to another control data set (step S102) after the game is played a predetermined number of times. Here, the predetermined number of times may be zero times or ten times. The predetermined number of times is set to any number of times.
  • [0038]
    Next, a hit determination is performed (step S103). This hit determination is a determination for deciding whether or not to notify to players that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed in step S105 described later. In this hit determination, control may be performed so that the probability of selecting of a hit becomes higher than the probability of non-selecting of a miss.
  • [0039]
    Thereafter, it is determined whether or not a hit has selected in the hit determination (step S104). If it is determined that a hit has selected in the hit determination (step S104: YES), it is notified to players that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed (step S104). Here, the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 is a region determined by first control data set of the currently proceeding game, and a region including a plurality of pockets 23 having higher probabilities of receiving the ball 27.
  • [0040]
    It should be noted that the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed may be notified to all the players, or may be notified only to a specific player. For example, in the case where a notification is made to all the players, all the display devices (small-sized displays) 8 display the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed (e.g., displays the phrase “A region having a higher probability of winning has been changed” or the like). The display devices 8 are provided individually for the players. Moreover, an electronic display unit (large-sized display) 5 may display the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed. The electronic display units 5 are visible to the players at the respective playing positions. On the other hand, in the case where a notification is made only to a specific player, the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed is displayed on the display device 8 visible to the specific player to whom the notification is to be made, among the display devices 8 provided individually for the players.
  • [0041]
    If it is determined that a hit has not selected in the hit determination (step S104: NO), the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed is not notified. Thus, by not notifying that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed even if it has actually been changed, the players will consider whether or not the specific region currently having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed.
  • [0042]
    Next, the configuration of the gaming apparatus 1 according to this embodiment will be described in detail. As shown in FIG. 2, the roulette device 3 included in the roulette gaming machine 1 includes a frame body 21 fixed to a cabinet 2 (see FIG. 3) and a roulette wheel 22 rotatably housed in and supported by the frame body 21. In the upper surface of the roulette wheel 22, a large number of (in this embodiment, 38 in total) recessed number pockets 23 are formed. Furthermore, on the upper surface of the roulette wheel 22, number display plates 25 on which the numbers “0”, “00”, and “1” to “36” are displayed are formed on the outer side of the number pockets 23 to correspond to the respective number pockets 23.
  • [0043]
    Inside the frame body 21, a ball entrance 36 is formed. A ball throwing device 104 (see FIG. 9) is connected to the ball entrance 36. As the ball throwing device 104 is driven, the ball 27 is thrown into the roulette wheel 22 from the ball entrance 36. The entire roulette device 3 is covered with a transparent hemispherical acrylic cover member 28 (see FIG. 3) from above.
  • [0044]
    Under the roulette wheel 22, a wheel drive motor 106 (see FIG. 9) is provided. As the wheel drive motor 106 is driven, the roulette wheel 22 rotates.
  • [0045]
    Moreover, metal plates (not shown) are attached to a lower portion of the roulette wheel 22 at predetermined intervals. By detecting the metal plates with a proximity sensor included in a pocket position detection circuit 107 (see FIG. 9), the positions of the number pockets 23 can be detected.
  • [0046]
    The frame body 21 gently slopes toward the center, and has a guide wall 29 formed in an intermediate portion thereof. The guide wall 29 is intended to guide the thrown ball 27 against the centrifugal force, and to cause the ball 27 to roll on. As the rotational speed decreases and the centrifugal force reduces, the ball 27 rolls down the slope of the frame body 21 toward the center, and reaches the roulette wheel 22 which is rotating. The ball 27, which has rolled on to the roulette wheel 22, further rolls over the number display plates 25 on the outer periphery of the rotating roulette wheel 22. The ball 27 is then received by any one of the number pockets 23. As a result, the number marked on the number display plate 25 corresponding to the number pocket 23, which has received the ball 27, is determined by a ball sensor 105, and is used as a winning number.
  • [0047]
    The rotation of the roulette wheel 22 and the launch of the ball 27 are performed based on a control data set. FIG. 4 is a view showing examples of control data sets. As shown in FIG. 4, each control data set includes motor drive time, ball initial velocity, and launch delay time.
  • [0048]
    The motor drive time is the time for which the wheel drive motor 106 (see FIG. 9) is driven. The roulette wheel 22 is rotated by the wheel drive motor 106 for the motor drive time at a predetermined rotational speed. It should be noted that after released from being driven by the wheel drive motor 106, the roulette wheel 22 gradually loses the rotational speed and finally stops. The ball initial velocity is an initial velocity at which the ball 27 is thrown in from the ball throwing device 104. The launch delay time is the time between from a predetermined number pocket 23 passes a predetermined position to when the ball 27 is launched, during the rotation of the roulette wheel 22.
  • [0049]
    As shown in FIG. 2, the roulette wheel 22 is divided into six regions (specific portions) A to F. Each region includes six or seven adjacent number pockets 23.
  • [0050]
    Each control data set is set so that any one of regions A to F has a higher probability of receiving the ball 27. For example, in a case where the rotation of the roulette wheel 22 and the launch of the ball 27 are controlled based on a control data set including “a motor drive time of 10 sec, a ball initial velocity of a, and a launch delay time of 0,” the control data set is set so that region A has a higher probability of receiving the ball 27. It should be noted that the control data set may be set individually for each roulette device 3 or may be set for all the roulette gaming machines 1 in common.
  • [0051]
    The control data set is changed when a predetermined condition is satisfied. Specifically, the control data set is switched every time a predetermined time has come (e.g., every hour on the hour). It should be noted that in this embodiment, a description will be given for the case where the control data set is switched every time a predetermined time has come, but the predetermined condition is not limited to this. For example, the predetermined condition may be that the ball 27 is received by the same pocket 23 a predetermined number of times consecutively or the ball 27 is received by the pockets 23 of the same group (region) a predetermined number of times consecutively. Alternatively, the predetermined condition may be that a predetermined bonus (e.g., mystery bonus or jackpot) occurs, that the monetary value bet on the numbers belonging to a predetermined group (e.g., the group having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27) reaches a predetermined amount, or that the monetary value bet on the numbers belonging to a predetermined group (e.g., the group having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27) and consequently paid out reaches a predetermined amount.
  • [0052]
    In the above-described example, a description has been given for the case where each of the regions A to F includes six or seven adjacent number pockets 23. However, the number of pockets 23 belonging to one group is not particularly limited. Further, the number of pockets 23 constituting each group may be equal to each other or may be different from each other. Moreover, in this embodiment, a description has been given for the case where the number pockets 23 are divided into six regions (groups) A to F, but the number of regions is not particularly limited to six.
  • [0053]
    In the aforementioned example, a description has been given for the case where regions A to F do not overlap each other. That is, the pockets 23 belonging to one group do not belong to the other groups. However, this embodiment is not limited to this, and one pocket 23 may belong to a plurality of groups.
  • [0054]
    In the aforementioned example, a description has been given for the case where there are a plurality of control data sets corresponding to the respective regions (groups). However, as long as there are a plurality of control data sets, the control data sets do not need to be related to the respective regions (groups), or there may be a plurality of control data sets for each region.
  • [0055]
    In the aforementioned example, a description has been given for the case where each control data set includes motor drive time, ball initial velocity, and launch delay time. However, the control data set is not limited to this and may be data including one of or a combination of: data (motor drive time) concerning the control of rotation of the wheel 22; data (launch delay time) concerning the timing with which the ball 27 is launched; and data (ball initial velocity) concerning the initial velocity at which the ball 27 is launched. Furthermore, data concerning the control of rotation of the wheel 22 includes, for example, the rotational speed of the roulette wheel 22 as driven by the motor, in addition to motor drive time.
  • [0056]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, the roulette gaming machine 1 includes the cabinet 2 which serves as a body portion, the roulette device 3 provided in an approximately central portion of the upper surface of the cabinet 2, a plurality of (12 in this embodiment) stations 4 installed around the roulette device 3 to surround the roulette device 3, and the electronic display unit 5 provided over the cabinet 2.
  • [0057]
    Each of the stations 4 includes at least a medal insertion slot 6 through which monetary value including coins and game media such as chips and medals used in games is inserted, a control unit 7 including a plurality of control buttons or the like with which predetermined commands are inputted by a player, and the display device 8 on which an image relating to the game is displayed. Each of the station 4 accepts a betting operation performed by the player. The player can cause the current game to proceed by operating a touch panel 50 (see FIG. 11), the control unit 7 and the like while watching an image displayed on the display device 8.
  • [0058]
    Moreover, on the side surfaces of the cabinet 2 in which the stations 4 are installed, respective medal payout openings 9 are provided. Furthermore, a speaker 10 for playing music, sound effects, and the like is provided to the upper right of the display device 8 of each station 4.
  • [0059]
    Near the top of the display device 8 of each station 4, a WIN lamp 11 is provided. During the game, in the case where the number (in this embodiment, “0,” “00,” and “1” to “36”) on which a bet has been made at the station 4 is a winning number, the WIN lamp 11 of the winning station 4 is turned on. Further, in a JP bonus game for winning a jackpot (hereinafter also referred to as a JP), the WIN lamp 11 of the station 4 which has won the JP is also turned on similarly. It should be noted that this WIN lamp 11 is provided at a position where it is visible from all the stations 4 installed (12 stations in this embodiment), and other players who are playing at the same roulette gaming machine 1 can always check the turning on thereof.
  • [0060]
    Inside the medal insertion slot 6, a medal sensor 97 (see FIG. 11) is provided to validate monetary value such as medals inserted through the metal insertion slot 6 and to count the inserted medals. Further, inside the medal payout opening 9, a hopper 94 (see FIG. 11) is provided to pay out a predetermined number of medals through the medal payout opening 9.
  • [0061]
    In a corner portion 12 positioned at a corner of the cabinet 2, a server 13 is placed. The server 13 is usually housed in the corner portion 12 so as not to be operated by players. However, the server 13 becomes operable by opening a corner door 14 provided in the corner portion 12 using a key switch. Moreover, various settings on the roulette gaming machine 1 can be made by operating the server 13.
  • [0062]
    In the electronic display unit 5, a JP amount display section 15 for displaying the amount of a JP is provided. In the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment, as described later, three kinds of JPs: “MEGA,” “MAJOR” and “MINI” are provided. For the “MEGA” JP, 0.15% of credits bet at all the 12 stations 4 in the game is accumulated and stored. For the “MAJOR” JP, 0.20% of the credits bet is accumulated and stored. For the “MINI” JP, 0.30% of the credits bet is accumulated and stored. In the case where any one of the JPs has been won in a JP bonus game described later, credits equivalent to the amount accumulated for the relevant JP are paid out to a predetermined station 4. The JP amount display section 15 displays the accumulated amount of the “MEGA” JP among the three kinds of JPs. It should be noted that the JP amount display section 15 is provided in a top portion of the electronic display unit 5 and that information displayed therein is visible to all the players who are playing respectively at the stations 4.
  • [0063]
    FIG. 5 is a view showing one example of an image displayed on the display device 8. As shown in FIG. 5, during the game, a BET screen 61 including a table-type betting board 60 is displayed on the display device 8. The player can bet chips using his or her credits by operating the touch panel 50 provided on the front surface of the display device 8.
  • [0064]
    First, the BET screen 61 displayed during the game will be described with reference to FIG. 5. In the table-type betting board 60 displayed on the BET screen 61, the 38 numbers “0,” “00,” and “1” to “36” are displayed in a manner that the numbers are arranged in a grid. Further, special BET areas for betting chips by designating “odd numbers,” “even numbers,” “the color of the number display plate (red or black),” or “a certain number range (e.g., “1” to “12”)” are also similarly arranged in the grid.
  • [0065]
    Under the table-type betting board 60, displayed are a result history display section 65, unit BET buttons 66, a payout result display section 67, and a credit amount display section 68. The result history display section 65 displays a list of results of winning numbers in the preceding games (here, one game is a series of operations starting with the players making bets at the respective stations 4, followed by the balls 27 falling in the number pockets 23, and ending with credits being paid out based on the winning number). In doing so, a new winning number is added from above and displayed when one game ends, and the history of winning numbers for up to the last 16 games can be checked.
  • [0066]
    The unit BET buttons 66 are buttons for betting chips on BET areas 72 (cells of the grid each of which has a number or a mark, or a line of the grid) which are designated by the player. The unit BET buttons 66 include four types of buttons: a “BET 1” button 66A, a “BET 5” button 66B, a “BET 10” button 66C, and a “BET 100” button 66D.
  • [0067]
    The player first designates the BET area 72 to bet on using a cursor 70 described later by directly pressing the screen with his or her finger or the like. In this state, when the “BET 1” button 66A is pressed, the player can bet chips in increments of one chip (every time the “BET 1” button 66A is pressed with his or her finger or the like, the number of chips bet sequentially increases in the following order: “1,” “2,” “3,” . . . ). When the “BET 5” button 66B is pressed, chips can be bet in increments of five chips (every time the “BET 5” button 66B is pressed with his or her finger or the like, the number of chips bet sequentially increases in the following order: “5,” “10,” “15,” . . . ).
  • [0068]
    When the “BET 10” button 66C is pressed, chips can be bet in increments of ten chips (every time the “BET 10” button 66C is pressed with his or her finger or the like, the number of chips bet sequentially increases in the following order: “10,” “20,” “30,” . . . ). When the “BET 100” button 66D is pressed, chips can be bet in increments of 100 chips (every time the “BET 100” button 66D is pressed with his or her finger or the like, the number of chips bet sequentially increases in the following order: “100,” “200,” “300,” . . . ).
  • [0069]
    The payout result display section 67 displays the number of chips bet by the player and the number of credits paid out in the previous game. Here, the number obtained by subtracting the number of chips bet from the number of credits paid out is the number of credits newly acquired by the player in the previous game.
  • [0070]
    The credit amount display section 68 displays the number of credits possessed by the current player. This number of credits decreases according to the number of chips bet when the chips are bet (one credit for one bet). Moreover, when the chips bet have won and credits have been paid out, the number of credits increases by the number of credits paid out. It should be noted that when the number of credits possessed by the player reaches zero, the game ends.
  • [0071]
    Above the table-type betting board 60, a BET time display section 69 is provided. The BET time display section 69 displays remaining time during which the player can make a bet. The BET time display section 69 displays “20” at the start of betting operation acceptance, and the number decrements by one per second. When the number reaches “0,” the acceptance of a betting operation is stopped. Further, when the remaining betting period for the player at each station 4 becomes five seconds, the ball throwing device 104 is driven to throw the ball 27 onto the roulette board.
  • [0072]
    At the right of the BET time display section 69, the following are provided: a MEGA display section 73 for displaying the number of credits accumulated for the “MEGA” JP so far, a MAJOR display section 74 for displaying the number of credits accumulated for the “MAJOR” JP so far, and a MINI display section 75 for displaying the number of credits accumulated for the “MINI” JP so far.
  • [0073]
    The MEGA display section 73 displays the accumulation of 0.15% of credits bet at all the 12 stations 4 in one game. The MAJOR display section 74 displays the accumulation of 0.20% of the credits bet. The MINI display section 75 displays the accumulation of 0.30% of the credits bet. The values displayed in the MEGA display section 73, the MAJOR display section 74, and the MINI display section 75 are common values for all the stations 4. In the case where a JP has been won in a JP bonus game, the credits of the JP won among the JPs displayed in the respective display sections 73 to 75 are paid out. After the payout, the relevant JP display section displays an initial value (200 credits for “MINI,” 5000 credits for “MAJOR,” and 50000 credits for “MEGA”).
  • [0074]
    Moreover, a cursor 70 indicating the BET area 72 currently selected by the player is displayed on the table-type betting board 60. Also, a chip mark 71 is displayed which indicates the number of chips bet so far and the BET area 72. The number displayed on the chip mark 71 indicates the number of chips bet. For example, the chip mark 71 placed in the cell of “18” and marked with “7” such as shown in FIG. 5 indicates that seven chips are bet on the number “18.” It should be noted that a bet type in which a bet is made only on one number in this way is called “straight bet.”
  • [0075]
    Furthermore, the chip mark 71 placed at the intersection of the cells of “5,” “6,” “8,” and “9” and marked with “1” indicates that one chip is bet to cover the four numbers “5,” “6,” “8,” and “9.” It should be noted that a bet type in which a bet is made to cover four numbers in this way is called “corner bet.”
  • [0076]
    Other bet types include “split bet” in which a bet is made on the line between two numbers to cover the two numbers, “street bet” in which a bet is made at the end of a lateral row (vertical column in FIG. 4) of numbers to cover three numbers (e.g., “13,” “14,” and “15”), and “five bet” in which a bet is made on the line between the numbers “00” and “3” to cover the five numbers “0,” “00,” “1,” “2,” and “3.”
  • [0077]
    Yet other bet types include “line bet” in which a bet is made between two lateral rows (two vertical columns in FIG. 4) of numbers to cover six numbers (e.g., “13,” “14,” “15,” “16,” “17,” and “18”), “column bet” in which a bet is made on the cell marked with “2 to 1” to cover 12 numbers, and “dozen bet” in which a bet is made on any one of the cells marked with “1st 12,” “2nd 12,” and “3rd 12” to cover 12 numbers.
  • [0078]
    Still other bet types include one in which a bet is made to cover 18 numbers according to the color (“red” or “black”) of the number display plate, whether the number is even or odd, and whether the number is not more than 18 or not less than 19, using one of six cells provided in the lowest column of the table-type betting board 60. Here, the plurality of bet types have different credit payouts (payout rates) per chip when chips bet win.
  • [0079]
    When the player makes a bet on the BET screen 61 configured as described above, the player first designates the BET area 72 to bet on (a cell of the grid which has a number or a mark, or a line of the grid) by directly pressing the screen with his or her finger. As a result, the cursor 70 moves to the designated BET area 72.
  • [0080]
    Thereafter, by pressing each of the unit BET buttons 66 (“BET 1” button 66A, “BET 5” button 66B, “BET 10” button 66C, and “BET 100” button 66D), chips of the number corresponding to the relevant unit are bet on the designated BET area 72. For example, if the “BET 10” button 66C is pressed four times, the “BET 5” button 66B is pressed once, and the “BET 1” button 66A is pressed three times, 48 chips can be bet in total.
  • [0081]
    FIG. 6 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of the roulette gaming machine according to this embodiment.
  • [0082]
    As shown in FIG. 6, the roulette gaming machine 1 includes the server 13, the plurality of (12 in this embodiment) stations 4 connected to the server 13, the roulette device 3, and the electronic display unit (see FIG. 3) 5. It should be noted that the internal configurations of the roulette device 3 and the stations 4 will be described in detail later.
  • [0083]
    The server 13 includes a server control CPU 81 for controlling the entire server 13, a ROM 82, a RAM 83, a timer 84, a liquid crystal display 32 connected thereto through a liquid crystal drive circuit 85, and a keyboard 33.
  • [0084]
    The server control CPU 81 performs various processes based on input signals supplied from the stations 4 and data and programs stored on the ROM 82 and the RAM 83. The server control CPU 81 then transmits command signals to the stations 4 based on the results of the processes, thus taking the initiative in controlling the stations 4. In particular, the sever control CPU 81 transmits a control signal to the roulette device 3 to control the launch of the ball 27 and the rotation of the roulette wheel 22.
  • [0085]
    The ROM 82 is formed by, for example, a semiconductor memory, and stores a program for realizing basic functions of the roulette gaming machine 1, a program for notifying maintenance timing and executing the setting and management of a condition for making the notification, payout rates (the numbers of credits paid out for wins per chip) for the roulette game, a program for taking the initiative in controlling each station 4, and the like.
  • [0086]
    On the other hand, the RAM 83 temporarily stores information on chips bet which is supplied from the stations 4, the winning number of the roulette device 3 which is determined by a sensor, the amounts of the JPs accumulated so far, data on the results of processes executed by the server control CPU 81, and the like.
  • [0087]
    Moreover, the server control CPU 81 has the timer 84 for measuring time connected thereto.
  • [0088]
    Time information of the timer 84 is transmitted to the server control CPU 81, and the server control CPU 81 controls the rotation operation of the roulette wheel 22 and the throwing of the ball 27 as described later, based on the time information of the timer 84. Moreover, in the case where a predetermined condition is the elapse of a predetermined time, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not the predetermined condition is satisfied, based on the time information of the timer 84.
  • [0089]
    Furthermore, the server control CPU 81 controls the light emission of LEDs or the like of the electronic display unit 5 to produce illumination effects and attractions, and causes the electronic display unit 5 to display predetermined characters or the like. In the case where a notification is made to all the players as described previously, the server control CPU 81 causes the electronic display unit 5 to display the fact that the control data set is changed. Also, the server control CPU 81 causes the electronic display unit 5, in particular the JP amount display section 15 thereof, to display the amount of a JP (in this embodiment, the “MEGA” JP) which has been accumulated so far.
  • [0090]
    FIG. 7 is a schematic diagram showing memory areas of the ROM of the roulette gaming machine according to this embodiment. As shown in FIG. 7, the ROM 82 includes a payout credit memory area 82A for storing payout rates regarding the game. It should be noted that the payout rate for each BET area 72 of the BET screen 61 which is stored in the payout credit memory area 82A is beforehand determined to be “2 for 1” to “36 for 1” according to the bet type (“straight bet,” “corner bet,” “split bet,” or the like).
  • [0091]
    FIG. 8 is a schematic diagram showing memory areas of the RAM of the roulette gaming machine according to this embodiment. As shown in FIG. 8, the RAM 83 includes a betting information memory area 83A for storing betting information on the players currently playing, a winning number memory area 83B for storing winning numbers of the roulette device 3 which are determined by the ball sensor 105, a “MINI” JP accumulation memory area 83C for storing the number of credits accumulated as the “MINI” JP, a “MAJOR” JP accumulation memory area 83D for storing the number of credits accumulated as the “MAJOR” JP, and a “MEGA” JP accumulation memory area 83E for storing the number of credits accumulated as the “MEGA” JP. It should be noted that specifically, the betting information is information on bets made using the stations 4, and includes the BET areas 72 (see FIG. 5) designated on the BET screen 61, the numbers (bet amounts) of chips bet, and the types of the bets.
  • [0092]
    FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of the roulette device according to this embodiment. As shown in FIG. 9, the roulette device 3 includes a control unit 109, the pocket position detection circuit 107, the ball throwing device 104, the ball sensor 105, the wheel drive motor 106, and a ball collecting device 108.
  • [0093]
    The control unit 109 includes a CPU 101, a ROM (memory) 102, and a RAM 103. The CPU 101 controls the launch of the ball 27 and the rotation of the roulette wheel 22 based on control signals supplied from the server 13 and data and programs stored on the ROM 102 and the RAM 103.
  • [0094]
    FIG. 10 is a schematic diagram showing memory areas of the ROM of the roulette device according to this embodiment. As shown in FIG. 10, the ROM 102 includes a control data memory area 102A in which control data sets having the structure described with reference to FIG. 4 are stored.
  • [0095]
    The pocket position detection circuit 107 includes the proximity sensor, and detects the position of the roulette wheel 22 based on whether or not the metal plates attached to the roulette wheel 22 have been detected.
  • [0096]
    The ball throwing device 104 is a device for throwing the ball 27 into the roulette wheel 22 through the ball entrance 36 (see FIG. 1). The ball throwing device 104 throws in the ball 27 at the initial velocity set in the control data set. In addition, the ball throwing device 104 throws in the ball 27 with timing based on the launch delay time set in the control data set. That is, the ball 27 is thrown in when the launch delay time has elapsed since the pocket position detection circuit 107 detected that a predetermined number pocket 23 (e.g., “00”) has passed a predetermined position (e.g., passed in front of the ball entrance 36).
  • [0097]
    The ball sensor 105 determines which number pocket 23 has received the ball 27. The wheel drive motor 106 rotates the roulette wheel 22, and stops driving it when the motor drive time set in the control data set has elapsed after the start of the driving. The ball collecting device 108 is a device for collecting the ball 27 on the roulette wheel 22 after the game ends.
  • [0098]
    FIG. 11 is a block diagram showing the internal configuration of the station according to this embodiment. It should be noted that all the 12 stations 4 provided basically have the same configuration, and one station 4 will be described as an example below.
  • [0099]
    As shown in FIG. 11, the station 4 includes a station control unit 90 including a station control CPU 91, a ROM 92, and a RAM 93. The ROM 92 is formed of, for example, a semiconductor memory, and stores a program for realizing basic functions of the station 4, various kinds of other programs necessary for controlling the station 4, data tables, and the like. The RAM 93 is a memory for temporarily storing various kinds of data calculated by the station control CPU 91, the number of credits currently possessed by the player (stored on the station 4), the situation with regard to chips bet by the player, and the like.
  • [0100]
    In addition, the station control CPU 91 has connected thereto a BET confirmation button 47, a payout button 48, and a help button 49, which are provided in the control unit 7 (see FIG. 3).
  • [0101]
    The BET confirmation button 47 is a button which is pressed when a bet is confirmed after a betting operation on the display device 8. The payout button 48 is a button which is usually pressed when the game ends. When the payout button 48 is pressed, the number of medals (normally, one medal for one credit) which corresponds to the number of credits acquired in the game or the like and currently possessed by the player are paid out through the medal payout opening 9.
  • [0102]
    The help button 49 is a button which is pressed when the player does not know how to operate the game. When the help button 49 is pressed, a help screen showing information on various operations is immediately displayed on the display device 8.
  • [0103]
    Based on operation signals outputted by pressing the buttons or the like, the station control CPU 91 performs control to execute various kinds of operations corresponding respectively to the operation signals. Specifically, based on an input signal supplied from the control unit 7 in response to an input of the player's operation, and based on data and programs stored on the ROM 92 and the RAM 93, the station control CPU 91 executes various processes and transmits the results thereof to the server control CPU 81.
  • [0104]
    In addition, the station control CPU 91 receives a command signal from the server control CPU 81, controls peripheral devices of the station 4, and causes the game to proceed on the station 4. Moreover, depending on the contents of a process, the station control CPU 91 executes various processes. Such processes are based on an input signal supplied from the control unit 7 in response to an operation being inputted by the player, and also based on data and programs stored on the ROM 92 and the RAM 93. On the basis of the results of the operations, the station control CPU 91 controls the peripheral devices of the station 4, thus causing the game to proceed.
  • [0105]
    Furthermore, the station control CPU 91 has the hopper 94 connected thereto. The hopper 94 pays out a predetermined number of medals through the medal payout opening 9 (see FIG. 3) in accordance with a command signal from the station control CPU 91.
  • [0106]
    Still furthermore, the station control CPU 91 has the display device 8 connected thereto through a liquid crystal drive circuit 95. As described previously, in the case where a notification is made to all the players or only a specific player, the station control CPU 91 causes the display device 8 to display the fact that the control data set is changed, through the liquid crystal drive circuit 95.
  • [0107]
    It should be noted that the liquid crystal drive circuit 95 includes a program ROM, an image ROM, an image control CPU, a work RAM, a video display processor (VDP), and a video RAM.
  • [0108]
    The program ROM stores an image control program relating to display on the display device 8 and various selection tables. The image ROM stores, for example, dot data for forming an image to be displayed on the display device 8. The image control CPU selects an image to be displayed on the display device 8 among the dot data beforehand stored on the image ROM, in accordance with the image control program beforehand stored on the program ROM, based on a parameter set by the station control CPU 91.
  • [0109]
    The work RAM is configured as a temporary memory used when the image control program is executed by the image control CPU. The VDP is intended to form an image according to information to be displayed which is determined by the image control CPU, and to output the image to the display device 8. The video RAM is configured as a temporary memory used when the image is formed by the VDP.
  • [0110]
    In addition, as described previously, the touch panel 50 is attached to the front surface of the display device 8. Information on an operation performed on the touch panel 50 is transmitted to the station control CPU 91. On the touch panel 50, the operation of betting chips is performed in the BET screen 61 by the player. Specifically, the touch panel 50 is operated for selecting a BET area 72, operating the unit BET buttons 66, and the like, and information thereon is transmitted to the station control CPU 91. Based on the information, betting information (the BET area designated on the BET screen 61, and the number of chips bet) on the current player is stored on the RAM 93 whenever necessary. Moreover, the betting information is transmitted to the server control CPU 81 and stored in the betting information memory area of the RAM 83.
  • [0111]
    Moreover, the station control CPU 91 has a sound output circuit 96 and the speaker 10 connected thereto. The speaker 10 generates various sound effects based on an output signal from the sound output circuit 96 when producing various kinds of effects and attractions.
  • [0112]
    Also, the station control CPU 91 has the medal sensor 97 connected thereto. The medal sensor 97 detects medals inserted through the medal insertion slot 6 (see FIG. 3), and calculates the inserted medals to transmit the result of the calculation to the station control CPU 91. Based on the transmitted signal, the station control CPU 91 increases the number of credits possessed by the player which is stored on the RAM 93.
  • [0113]
    Further, the station control CPU 91 has the WIN lamp 11 connected thereto. The station control CPU 91 causes the WIN lamp 11 to light in a predetermined color when the chips bet on the BET screen 61 win or when the JP is won.
  • [0114]
    In the above-described configuration, the server control CPU 81, the ROM 82, the RAM 83, the station control CPU 91, the ROM 92, the RAM 93, the CPU 101, the ROM 102, and the RAM 103 constitute a controller.
  • [0115]
    Next, server-side game processing executed by the server control CPU 81, station-side game processing executed by the station control CPU 91, and game processing executed by the CPU 101 will be described with reference to FIGS. 12 to 14. The server control CPU 81, the station control CPU 91 and the CPU 101 are included in the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment. FIGS. 12 to 14 are a flowchart showing game processing of the roulette gaming machine according to this embodiment.
  • [0116]
    First, the station-side game processing will be described with reference to FIGS. 12 and 13. In step S10, the station control CPU 91 determines, based on a detection signal of the medal sensor 97, whether or not medals, coins, or the like have been inserted by the player (step S10). If it is determined that medals or coins have not been inserted (step S10: NO), the process of step S10 is repeated until it is determined that medals or coins have been inserted.
  • [0117]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that medals, coins, or the like have been inserted (step S10: YES), the station control CPU 91 adds a number of credits which corresponds to the number of medals, coins, or the like inserted (step S1). In this process, the station control CPU 91 records on the RAM 93 data on a number of credits corresponding to the number of medals, coins, or the like inserted. Next, the station control CPU 91 transmits to the server 13 a medal detection signal indicating that medals or coins have been inserted (step S12).
  • [0118]
    Thereafter, the station control CPU 91 causes the display device 8 of the station 4 to display the BET screen 61 shown in FIG. 4 (step S13). Then, the station control CPU 91 starts counting down a betting period during which players can bet chips (step S14). During this betting period in which bets can be accepted, players having joined the game can bet, by operating the touch panels 50, their chips on the BET areas 72 relating to the numbers predicted by themselves, respectively (see FIG. 4). It should be noted that players can also join in the middle of the game in which the betting period has already been started. In the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment, up to 12 players can play. Further, in the case where the current game is played subsequently to the previous game, betting operation acceptance is started immediately after the previous game ends.
  • [0119]
    Next, the station control CPU 91 receives from the server control CPU 81 a betting period end signal indicating that the betting period has ended (step S15). In response to this, the station control CPU 91 causes the display device 8 of the station 4 to display an image indicating that the betting period has ended, and stops accepting a betting operation on the touch panel 50 (step S16).
  • [0120]
    Subsequently, the station control CPU 91 transmits information (the BET area 72 designated, and the number (bet amount) of chips bet on the designated BET area 72) on a bet made by the player at the station 4 (step S17).
  • [0121]
    Then, the station control CPU 91 receives from the server 13 the result of an undermentioned JP bonus game decision process executed by the server control CPU 81 (step S18 of FIG. 13). The result of a JP bonus game decision is the result of a decision as to whether or not to generate a predetermined JP bonus game at each station 4. If a JP bonus game is to be generated, the decision result further includes the result of a decision about which station 4 among the 12 stations 4 is to win a JP (or the decision that all the stations 4 lose.) If a JP is to be won, the decision result further includes the result of a decision about which JP (“MEGA,” “MAJOR,” or “MINI”) is to be won.
  • [0122]
    Thereafter, based on the result of the JP bonus game decision process received in step S18, the station control CPU 91 determines whether or not to generate a JP bonus game (step S19). If it is determined that a JP bonus game is not to be generated (step S19: NO), the process goes to step S21.
  • [0123]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that a JP bonus game is to be generated (step S19: YES), the station control CPU 91 executes a predetermined selective JP bonus game with regard to the winning of a JP, and causes the display device 8 to display the result of the game (whether or not the JP has been won) based on the decision result received in step S19 (step S20). Then, the process goes to step S21.
  • [0124]
    In step S21, the station control CPU 91 receives a credit payout result transmitted from the server control CPU 81 (step S21). It should be noted that the credit payout result includes a payout result for the game and a JP payout result for the JP bonus game.
  • [0125]
    Next, the station control CPU 91 pays out credits based on the payout result received in step S21 (step S22). Specifically, the station control CPU 91 stores on the RAM 93 data on a number of credits corresponding to the payout of the game and, if a JP bonus game has been generated and the relevant station 4 has won the JP, data on a number of credits corresponding to the payout of the JP accumulated so far. Then, when the payout button 48 is pressed, a number of medals (usually, one medal for one credit) which corresponds to the number of credits currently stored on the RAM 93 are paid out through the medal payout opening 9.
  • [0126]
    Thereafter, if gaming is continued at any of the stations 4, the process is moved back to step S13 to start a betting period again, thus making a transition to the next game. On the other hand, if gaming is stopped at all the stations 4, the game processing is terminated.
  • [0127]
    Next, the server-side game processing will be described with reference to FIGS. 12 to 14. First, the server control CPU 81 receives a medal detection signal transmitted from the station control CPU 91, and determines whether or not medals or coins have been inserted by the player (step S30). In the roulette gaming machine 1 according to this embodiment, when medals or coins have been inserted in any of the stations 4, the station control CPU 91 of the station 4 in which medals or coins have been inserted transmits a medal detection signal to the server control CPU 81.
  • [0128]
    Then, the server control CPU 81 starts counting down a betting period when the player joining first inserts medals or coins (step S31). The betting period is a period during which players can input bets. The players joining the game can bet their chips on the BET areas 72 relating to the numbers predicted by themselves by operating the touch panels 50, respectively.
  • [0129]
    Subsequently, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not the remaining betting period becomes five seconds (step S32). It should be noted that the remaining betting period is displayed in the BET time display section 69 (see FIG. 4). If it is determined that the remaining betting period is more than five seconds (step S32: NO), this process is repeated until it is determined that the remaining betting period becomes five seconds.
  • [0130]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that the remaining betting period is five seconds (step S32: YES), the server control CPU 81 transmits to the CPU 101 of the roulette device 3 a control signal for starting the operation of the roulette device 3 (step S33).
  • [0131]
    Thereafter, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not the betting period has ended (step S34). If it is determined that the betting period has not ended (step S34: NO), this process is repeated until it is determined that the betting period has ended.
  • [0132]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that the betting period has ended (step S34: YES), the server control CPU 81 transmits to the station control CPU 91 a betting period end signal indicating that the betting period has ended (step S35). Upon receiving this end signal, the station control CPU 91 stops accepting betting operations from the stations 4.
  • [0133]
    Next, the server control CPU 81 receives from the station control CPU 91 information (the BET area 72 designated, the number (bet amount) of chips bet on the designated BET area 72, the type of the bet) on a bet made by the player at each station 4 (step S36), and stores the information in the betting information memory area 83A of the RAM 83.
  • [0134]
    Thereafter, the server control CPU 81 performs a JP accumulating process based on the total number of credits bet at each station 4, which total number has been received in step S36 (step S37). In this process, the server control CPU 81 adds credits equivalent to 0.30% of the total credit number to the JP amount recorded in the “MINI” JP accumulation memory area 83C of the RAM 83. Further, the server control CPU 81 adds credits equivalent to 0.20% of the total credit number to the JP amount recorded in the “MAJOR” JP accumulation memory area 83D of the RAM 83. Moreover, the server control CPU 81 adds credits equivalent to 0.15% of the total credit number to the JP amount recorded in the “MEGA” JP accumulation memory area 83E of the RAM 83. Furthermore, based on these JP amounts, the server control CPU 81 updates the display of the JP amount display section 15, the MEGA display section 73, the MAJOR display section 74, and the MINI display section 75.
  • [0135]
    Next, the server control CPU 81 performs a JP bonus game decision process (step S38 of FIG. 13). In this process, using a random number value sampled by a sampling circuit or the like, the server control CPU 81 decides whether or not to generate a JP bonus game at each station 4. If it is decided to generate a JP bonus game, the server control CPU 81 decides which station 4 among the 12 stations 4 is to win (or decides that all the stations 4 are to lose). Further, if it is decided that a JP is to be won, the server control CPU 81 decides which JP (“MEGA,” “MAJOR,” or “MINI”) is to be won.
  • [0136]
    Subsequently, the server control CPU 81 transmits the result of a decision about a JP bonus game to each station 4 based on the process of step S38 (step S39). Then, the server control CPU 81 transmits a request signal to the roulette device 3 in order to cause the roulette device 3 to transmit a detection signal of the ball sensor 105 thereto (step S40). In response to this, the roulette device 3 drives the ball sensor 105 and transmits a detection signal obtained to the server control CPU 81. The server control CPU 81 receives the detection signal (step S41).
  • [0137]
    Then, the server control CPU 81 determines the number of the number pocket 23 which has received the ball 27 (step S42). Subsequently, based on betting information on each station 4 which has been received in step S36 and based on the kind of the pocket 23 which has been determined in step S42, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not chips bet at each station 4 have won (step S43).
  • [0138]
    Thereafter, the server control CPU 81 executes a payout calculation process (step S44). In the payout calculation process, the server control CPU 81 recognizes winning chips bet on the winning number for each station 4, and calculates the total number of credits to be paid out to each station 4, using the payout rate (number of credits to be paid out per chip (bet)) of each BET area 72 which payout rate is stored in the payout credit memory area 82A of the ROM 82.
  • [0139]
    Next, the server control CPU 81 executes the process of transmitting a credit payout result of the game based on the payout calculation process of step S44 and a JP payout result based on the JP bonus game decision process of step S38 (step S45). Specifically, the server control CPU 81 outputs data on a number of credits corresponding to the payout amount of the game to the station control CPU 91 of each station 4 which has won the game. Further, if a JP has been won, the server control CPU 81 further outputs data on a number of credits corresponding to the JP amount currently accumulated.
  • [0140]
    Thereafter, the server control CPU 81 transmits a control signal to the roulette device 3, thus driving the ball collecting device 108 provided under the roulette wheel 22 and collecting the ball 27 on the roulette wheel 22 (step S46). The collected ball 27 is to be thrown into the roulette wheel 22 of the roulette device 3 again in each subsequent game.
  • [0141]
    Then, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not a predetermined time (in this embodiment, every hour on the hour) has come (step S47 of FIG. 14). In other words, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not a predetermined condition is satisfied. If it is determined that the predetermined time has not come (step S47: NO), the process goes to step S30.
  • [0142]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that the predetermined time has come (step S47: YES), the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not the game has been played a predetermined number of times since the predetermined time (step S48). If it is determined that the game has been played the predetermined number of times since the predetermined time (step s48: YES), the server control CPU 81 transmits to the roulette device 3 a signal indicating that the control data set should be changed (step S49). In the roulette device 3 which has received the signal indicating that the control data set should be changed, a control signal is changed and the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 is thus changed. Then, the process goes to step S50. On the other hand, if it is determined that the game has not been played the predetermined number of times since the predetermined time (step S48: NO), the process goes to step S30.
  • [0143]
    Next, a hit determination is executed (step S50). Then, the server control CPU 81 determines whether or not a hit has been selected in the hit determination.
  • [0144]
    If it is determined that a hit has been selected in the hit determination (step S51: YES), the server control CPU 81 determines that a notification is to be made as normal. The server control CPU 81 then notifies to players that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed (step S52). Thereafter, the process goes to step S30.
  • [0145]
    Here, as described previously, the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed may be notified to all the players or may be notified only to a specific player. In the case where a notification is made to all the players, the server control CPU 81 transmits to each station 4 a signal indicating that the control data set has been changed. In response to this, the station control CPU 91 causes the display device 8 to display the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed. Alternatively, the server control CPU 81 may cause the electronic display unit 5 to display the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed, without transmitting a signal to each station 4. On the other hand, in the case where a notification is made only to a specific player, the server control CPU 81 causes one of the display devices 8 to display the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed.
  • [0146]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that a miss has been selected in the hit determination, i.e., a hit has not been selected (step S51: NO), the server control CPU 81 determines that information is not to be notified. Then, the server control CPU 81 does not notify to the players that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed. In this case, a notification is made as in step S52.
  • [0147]
    Thus, players will make a prediction about which region of the plurality of pockets 23 has come to have a higher probability of receiving the ball 27. Moreover, players will also make a prediction about whether or not the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has actually been changed even though there is no notification that it has been changed, and the like. This makes the game more challenging and more entertaining. Thereafter, the process goes to step S30.
  • [0148]
    Next, the roulette-side game processing will be described with reference to FIGS. 12 to 14. First, upon receiving an operation signal for the roulette device 3 from the server 13, the CPU 101 drives the wheel drive motor 106 for the motor drive time set in the current control data set, thus causing the roulette wheel 22 to rotate (step S60).
  • [0149]
    Then, the CPU 101 determines whether or not a predetermined time (e.g., 20 seconds) has elapsed since the roulette wheel 22 started rotating (step S61). If it is determined that the predetermined time has not elapsed (step S61: NO), this process is repeated until it is determined that the predetermined time has elapsed.
  • [0150]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that the predetermined time has elapsed (step S61: YES), the CPU 101 drives the pocket position detection circuit 107 to determine whether or not a specific pocket 23 (e.g., “00”) has passed a specific position (e.g., passed in front of the ball entrance 36) (step S62). If it is determined that the specific pocket 23 has not passed the specific position (step S62: NO), this process is repeated until it is determined that the specific pocket 23 has passed the specific position.
  • [0151]
    If it is determined that the specific pocket 23 has passed the specific position (step S62: YES), the CPU 101 drives the ball throwing device 104 to throw in the ball 27 after the delay time set in the control data set currently referred to elapses (step S63). At this time, the ball throwing device 104 throws in the ball 27 at the initial velocity set in the control data set.
  • [0152]
    Thereafter, the CPU 101 receives the request signal described in step S40 from the server 13 (step S64 of FIG. 13). In response to this, the CPU 101 transmits a detection signal of the ball sensor 105 to the server 13 (step S65).
  • [0153]
    Subsequently, the CPU 101 determines whether or not a signal for changing the control data set has been received (step S66 of FIG. 15). If it is determined that a signal for changing the control data set has not been received (step S66: NO), the process goes to step S60.
  • [0154]
    On the other hand, if it is determined that a signal for changing the control data set has been received (step S66: YES), the CPU 101 changes the control data set (step S67). That is, the CPU 101 samples a random number and, based on the obtained random number, selects a control data set different from the control data set referred to so far among the plurality of control data sets stored on the ROM 102. Accordingly, from the next time, the motor drive time in step S60, the delay time in step S63, the initial velocity in step S63, and the like are changed, whereby the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 is to be changed. Thereafter, the process goes to step S60.
  • [0155]
    As described above, in the gaming apparatus 1 according to this embodiment and the method of controlling the same, when a predetermined condition is satisfied (e.g., at the predetermined time in step S47), after the game is played a predetermined number of times since a predetermined time, the control data set is changed, and thereby the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 is changed. Further, it is notified that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed (e.g., steps S105 and S52). Changing the control data set as described above changes the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27. Accordingly, players will make a prediction or the like about which region of the plurality of pockets 23 has come to have a higher probability of receiving the ball 27. This makes the game more challenging and more entertaining.
  • [0156]
    Furthermore, when a predetermined condition is satisfied (e.g., the predetermined time of step S47), a hit determination (e.g., steps S103 and S50) is performed. If a hit is selected in the hit determination, it is notified that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed (e.g., steps S105 and S52). On the other hand, if a miss is selected in the hit determination, the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed is not notified.
  • [0157]
    Notifying in this way that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed will make players consider, in the next game, where the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball is. This makes the game more challenging and more entertaining. On the other hand, in the case where the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed but a miss is selected in the hit determination, the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed is not notified. Accordingly, even when a notification is not made, players will make a prediction about whether or not the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball has been changed. This makes the game more challenging and more entertaining.
  • [0158]
    Furthermore, the fact that the control data set has been changed is notified to all the players. For this reason, all the players will make bets after considering where the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 is. Accordingly, in some cases, many players have high probabilities of obtaining high payouts, and the game can be made exciting. At this time, the fact that the control data set has been changed may be notified to the display devices 8 of all the stations 4 or may be notified to the electronic display unit 5.
  • [0159]
    Alternatively, the fact that the specific region having a higher probability of receiving the ball 27 has been changed is notified only to a specific player. Accordingly, it becomes possible to make a notification only to a player who has acquired a smaller number of medals or the like. Thus, it is possible to prevent a situation in which only a specific player has a chance to obtain a high payout and in which only a specific player gets bored with the game.
  • [0160]
    Although an embodiment of the present invention has been described above, it is merely a specific example and not intended to particularly limit the present invention. The design of specific components such as each means can be appropriately changed. Further, the effects described in the embodiment of the present invention are merely a list of most favorable effects produced by the present invention, and the effects of the present invention are not limited to those described in the embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0161]
    Moreover, in the above detailed description, in order to facilitate the understanding of the present invention, a focus is placed on characteristic portions thereof. The present invention is not limited to the embodiment described in the above detailed description, can also be applied to other embodiments, and has a wide range of applications. Further, terms and wording used in the present specification have been used in order to properly describe the present invention, but have not been used in order to limit the interpretation of the present invention. Also, from the concept of the present invention described in the present specification, those skilled in the art will easily think of other configurations, systems, methods, and the like included in the concept of the present invention. Accordingly, the appended claims should be construed to include equivalent components without departing from the scope of technical principles of the present invention.
  • [0162]
    Furthermore, in the present specification, each step used to derive one result is interpreted as a self-consistent process. Also, in some cases, the process of each step is described using expressions which can also be used to describe human actions. However, the processes described in the present specification are executed by various devices in principle. Further, other components needed to perform each step are apparent from the above description.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/17
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG07F17/3286, G07F17/32, G07F17/3213
European ClassificationG07F17/32C2F2, G07F17/32, G07F17/32P
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
10 Dec 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: ARUZE GAMING AMERICA, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OKADA, KAZUO;REEL/FRAME:020220/0923
Effective date: 20071115