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Publication numberUS20040100026 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/306,329
Publication dateMay 27, 2004
Filing dateNov 27, 2002
Priority dateNov 27, 2002
Publication number10306329, 306329, US 2004/0100026 A1, US 2004/100026 A1, US 20040100026 A1, US 20040100026A1, US 2004100026 A1, US 2004100026A1, US-A1-20040100026, US-A1-2004100026, US2004/0100026A1, US2004/100026A1, US20040100026 A1, US20040100026A1, US2004100026 A1, US2004100026A1
InventorsEmmitt Haggard
Original AssigneeEmmitt Haggard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Blackjack playing card system
US 20040100026 A1
Abstract
A playing card system for use in the game of Blackjack is provided. A set of playing cards having the standard suit and rank arrangement is modified such that both surfaces of each card are marked with that card's particular suit and rank. Thus, the rank and suit of all cards in play remain exposed, which effectively eliminates many types of cheating. It is particularly effective against card marking, flashing and switching. The set of cards is further modified so that ace and “10” value cards are marked with identifying indicia such that an early determination that the dealer has “21” can be made. A masking member is provided for placement over the dealer's hole card so that its rank and suit can remain concealed while the determination of early “21” is made. The invention further comprises a card shoe which is modified so that the determination of early “21” can be made before the hole card is dealt from the shoe.
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Claims(28)
What is claimed is:
1. A set of playing cards for the game of Blackjack, said set of playing cards being of the type comprising a standard suit and rank combination, wherein each individual card has its particular suit and rank placed on both surfaces of said card, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of ace bearing a first identifying indicia at a primary location along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of a value of ten bearing a second identifying indicia along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces at a different secondary location relative to said primary location of said first identifying indicia of said ace cards, said cards of said set which have a rank in the range of two through nine having no rank-identifying indicia on either of its surfaces at any location similar to that of either of said primary or secondary locations.
2. The set of playing cards of claim 1 in which said identifying first and second indicia comprise discrete, localized marks.
3. The set of playing cards of claim 2 in which said indicia comprise a rank symbol of said card.
4. The set of playing cards of claim 2 in which an additional first identifying indicia is provided on each surface of said ace cards at a location similar to said primary location from a perspective of a viewer when said cards are rotated 180 degrees within their plane, and an additional second identifying indicia is provided on each surface of said ten value cards at a location similar to said secondary location from a perspective of a viewer when said card is rotated 180 degrees within their plane.
5. The set of playing cards of claim 1 in which said first and second identifying indicia each comprise an elongated marking, said elongated marking of said first indicia being disposed lengthwise along an upper margin at a top edge of said card or along a lower margin at a bottom edge of said card, but not extending to an edge of either of said sides of said card, said elongated marking of said second indicia being disposed lengthwise along an outer margin at both side edges of said card, but not extending to said top and bottom edges of said card.
6. The set of playing cards of claim 1 in which said first and second identifying indicia each comprise an elongated marking, said elongated marking of said second indicia being disposed lengthwise along an upper margin at a top edge of said card or along a lower margin at a bottom edge of said card, but not extending to an edge of either of said sides of said card, said elongated marking of said first indicia being disposed lengthwise along an outer margin at both side edges of said card, but not extending to said top and bottom edges of said card.
7. A set of playing cards for the game of Blackjack, said set of playing cards being of the type comprising a standard suit and rank combination, wherein each individual card has its particular suit and rank placed on both surfaces of said card, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of ace bearing a first identifying indicia at a primary location along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of a value of ten bearing a second identifying indicia along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces at a different secondary location relative to said primary location of said first identifying indicia of said ace cards, said cards of said set which have a rank in the range of two through nine having no rank-identifying indicia on either of its surfaces at any location similar to that of either of said primary or secondary locations, said set of playing cards further including a masking member, said masking member being adapted to be placed over an individual one of said cards to mask said card from view, said masking member being adapted for selective manipulation to enable either of said first or second identifying indicia to be revealed while a remainder of said card remains masked from view.
8. The set of playing cards of claim 7 in which said identifying first and second indicia comprise discrete, localized marks.
9. The set of playing cards of claim 8 in which a first viewing window is disposed in said masking member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said primary location of said first identifying indicia when said masking member is placed over said individual one of said cards, and a second viewing window is disposed in said masking member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said secondary location of said second identifying indicia when said masking member is placed over said individual one of said cards, each of said first and second viewing windows being adapted to be selectively opened and closed, and adapted to be independently manipulated to reveal a presence of an identifying indicia under said respective viewing windows.
10. The set of playing cards of claim 9 in which an additional first indicia is provided on each surface of said ace cards at a location similar to said primary location from a perspective of a viewer when said cards are rotated 180 degrees, and an additional second indicia is provided on each surface of said ten value cards at a location similar to said secondary location from a perspective of a viewer when said card is rotated 180 degrees, whereby said respective indicia will always align with its respective viewing window when said masking member is properly aligned and placed over said card.
11. The set of playing cards of claim 9 in which said indicia comprise a rank symbol of said card.
12. The set of playing cards of claim 7 in which said first and second identifying indicia each comprise an elongated marking, said elongated marking of said first indicia being disposed lengthwise along an upper margin at a top edge of said card or along a lower margin at a bottom edge of said card, but not extending to an edge of either of said sides of said card, said elongated marking of said second indicia being disposed lengthwise along an outer margin at both side edges of said card, but not extending to said top and bottom edges of said card, whereby each of said indicia are viewable by receding movement of said masking member relative to said top, bottom and said side edges of said cards.
13. The set of playing cards of claim 7 in which said first and second identifying indicia each comprise an elongated marking, said elongated marking of said second indicia being disposed lengthwise along an upper margin at a top edge of said card or along a lower margin at a bottom edge of said card, but not extending to an edge of either of said sides of said card, said elongated marking of said first indicia being disposed lengthwise along an outer margin at both side edges of said card, but not extending to said top and bottom edges of said card, whereby each of said indicia are viewable by receding movement of said masking member relative to said top, bottom and said side edges of said cards.
14. A combination set of playing cards and card shoe for dispensing said cards, said set of playing cards being of the type comprising a standard suit and rank combination, wherein each individual card has its particular suit and rank placed on both surfaces of said card, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of ace bearing a first identifying indicia at a primary location along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces, an additional first identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ace cards at a location similar to said primary location from a perspective of a viewer when said cards are rotated 180 degrees within their plane, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of a value of ten bearing a second identifying indicia along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces at a different secondary location relative to said primary location of said first identifying indicia of said ace cards, an additional second identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ten value cards at a location similar to said secondary location from a perspective of a viewer when said card is rotated 180 degrees within their plane, said cards of said set which have a rank in the range of two through nine having no rank-identifying indicia on either of its surfaces at any location similar to that of either of said primary or secondary locations, said card shoe being adapted to receive, store and dispense said set of playing cards, said card shoe having a concealing member disposed in its card dispensing end, said concealing member being adapted to conceal cards to be dispensed from said card shoe from view, said concealing member being adapted for selective manipulation to enable either of said first or second identifying indicia to be revealed while a remainder of said card remains concealed from view.
15. The set of playing cards of claim 14 in which said identifying first and second indicia comprise discrete, localized marks.
16. The set of playing cards of claim 15 in which a first viewing window is disposed in said concealing member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said primary location of said first identifying indicia when said concealing member is placed over said individual one of said cards, and a second viewing window is disposed in said concealing member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said secondary location of said second identifying indicia when said concealing member is placed over said individual one of said cards, each of said first and second viewing windows being adapted to be selectively opened and closed, and adapted to be independently manipulated to reveal a presence of an identifying indicia under said respective viewing windows.
17. A combination set of playing cards and card shoe for dispensing said cards, said set of playing cards being of the type comprising a standard suit and rank combination, wherein each individual card has its particular suit and rank placed on both surfaces of said card, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of ace bearing a first identifying indicia at a primary location along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces, an additional first identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ace cards at a location similar to said primary location from a perspective of a viewer when said cards are rotated 180 degrees within their plane, each of said cards of said set which has a rank of a value of ten bearing a second identifying indicia along a margin on an edge on both of its surfaces at a different secondary location relative to said primary location of said first identifying indicia of said ace cards, an additional second identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ten value cards at a location similar to said secondary location from a perspective of a viewer when said card is rotated 180 degrees within their plane, said cards of said set which have a rank in the range of two through nine having no rank-identifying indicia on either of its surfaces at any location similar to that of either of said primary or secondary locations, said card shoe being adapted to receive, store and dispense said set of playing cards, said card shoe having a concealing member disposed in its card dispensing end, said concealing member being adapted to conceal cards to be dispensed from said card shoe from view, said concealing member being adapted to enable either of said first or second identifying indicia to be revealed while a remainder of said card remains concealed from view.
18. The set of playing cards of claim 17 in which said identifying first and second indicia comprise discrete, localized marks.
19. The set of playing cards of claim 18 in which a first viewing window is disposed in said concealing member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said primary location of said first identifying indicia when said concealing member is placed over said individual one of said cards, and a second viewing window is disposed in said concealing member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said secondary location of said second identifying indicia when said concealing member is placed over said individual one of said cards, each of said first and second viewing windows being adapted to be selectively opened and closed, and adapted to be independently manipulated to reveal a presence of an identifying indicia under said respective viewing windows.
20. A card shoe of the type for dispensing playing cards for the game of Blackjack, said card shoe being adapted to receive and store a plurality of sets of said playing cards, the improvement comprising said card shoe having a concealing member disposed in its card dispensing end, said concealing member being adapted to conceal cards to be dispensed from said card shoe from view, said concealing member being adapted to enable either of a first or second location on a concealed card to be independently revealed while a remainder of said card remains concealed from view within said shoe, said first and second locations being disposed on said card at positions remote from each other, said concealing member having indicia for instructing a user to reveal the concealed card at said first or second location.
21. The card shoe of claim 20 in which windows are disposed in said concealing member, said windows being moveable between open and closed positions.
22. A method for increasing a speed of play of the game of Blackjack and inhibiting a possibility of cheating due to prematurely exposing a value of a hole card, said method comprising:
a) providing a set of playing cards of a type comprising a standard suit and rank combination which have been previously modified to comprise:
i) each card of said set having its respective suit and rank placed on both its surfaces,
ii) cards of said set, which have a rank of ace, bearing a first identifying indicia placed at a primary location along a margin on an edge on both their surfaces, an additional first identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ace cards at a location similar to said primary location from a perspective of a viewer when said cards are rotated 180 degrees within their plane
iii) cards of said set, which have a rank of a value of ten, bearing a second identifying indicia placed along a margin on an edge on both their surfaces at a different secondary location relative to said primary location of said first identifying indicia of said ace cards, an additional second identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ten value cards at a location similar to said secondary location from a perspective of a viewer when said card is rotated 180 degrees within their plane
b) providing a concealing member adapted to be placed over an individual one of said cards to conceal said card from view,
c) dealing said cards in a conventional manner for a hand of Blackjack where a hole card and an up card are dealt for said dealer,
d) placing said concealing member over said hole card as said hole card is dealt whereby a value of said hole card is concealed from view while said up card remains exposed to view,
e) determining a value of said exposed up card,
f) manipulating said concealing member over said hole card to determine a presence of either of said identifying indicia, without exposing a face of said hole card, to determine whether said hole card has a value, as signified by said identifying indicia, which will provide a complementary value with said up card to attain a value of 21,
whereby a presence of said attained value of 21 will signify a winning hand by said dealer to terminate said game and obviate a need to deal additional cards.
23. The method of claim 22 in which said identifying first and second indicia comprise discrete, localized marks.
24. The method of claim 23 in which said indicia comprise a rank symbol of said card.
25. The method of claim 23 in which a first viewing window is disposed in said concealing member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said primary location of said first identifying indicia when said concealing member is placed over said individual one of said cards, and a second viewing window is disposed in said concealing member at a position adapted to be in close proximity to said secondary location of said second identifying indicia when said concealing member is placed over said individual one of said cards, each of said first and second viewing windows being adapted to be selectively opened and closed, and adapted to be independently manipulated to reveal a presence of an identifying indicia.
26. The method of claim 22 in which said first and second identifying indicia each comprise an elongated marking, said elongated marking of said first indicia being disposed lengthwise along an upper margin at a top edge of said card or along a lower margin at a bottom edge of said card, but not extending to an edge of either of said sides of said card, said elongated marking of said second indicia being disposed lengthwise along an outer margin at both side edges of said card, but not extending to said top and bottom edges of said card.
27. The method of claim 22 in which said first and second identifying indicia each comprise an elongated marking, said elongated marking of said second indicia being disposed lengthwise along an upper margin at a top edge of said card or along a lower margin at a bottom edge of said card, but not extending to an edge of either of said sides of said card, said elongated marking of said first indicia being disposed lengthwise along an outer margin at both side edges of said card, but not extending to said top and bottom edges of said card.
28. A method for increasing a speed of play of the game of Blackjack and inhibiting a possibility of cheating due to prematurely exposing a value of a hole card, said method comprising:
a) providing a set of playing cards of a type comprising a standard suit and rank combination which have been previously modified to comprise:
i) each card of said set having its respective suit and rank placed on both its surfaces,
ii) cards of said set, which have a rank of ace, bearing a first identifying indicia placed at a primary location along a margin on an edge on both their surfaces, an additional first identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ace cards at a location similar to said primary location from a perspective of a viewer when said cards are rotated 180 degrees within their plane
iii) cards of said set, which have a rank of a value of ten, bearing a second identifying indicia placed along a margin on an edge on both their surfaces at a different secondary location relative to said primary location of said first identifying indicia of said ace cards, an additional second identifying indicia being provided on each surface of said ten value cards at a location similar to said secondary location from a perspective of a viewer when said card is rotated 180 degrees within their plane
b) providing a card shoe for dispensing said cards, said shoe being modified to comprise:
i) a concealing member disposed in its card dispensing end,
ii) said concealing member being adapted to conceal cards to be dispensed from said card shoe from view,
iii) said concealing member being adapted to enable either of a first or second location on a concealed card to be independently revealed while a remainder of said card remains concealed from view within said shoe,
iv) said concealing member having indicia for instructing a user to reveal the concealed card at said first or second location
c) providing a masking member adapted to be placed over an individual one of said cards to mask a dealt dealer's hole card from view,
d) dealing said cards to players in a conventional manner for a hand of Blackjack and dealing an up card to said dealer but temporarily leaving said hole card in said shoe,
e) determining a value of dealer's said exposed up card,
f) manipulating said concealing member of said shoe over said hole card in said shoe to determine a presence of either of said identifying indicia, without exposing a face of said hole card, to determine whether said hole card has a value, as signified by said identifying indicia, which will provide a complementary value with said up card to attain a value of 21, whereby a presence of said attained value of 21 will signify a winning hand by said dealer to terminate said game and obviate a need to deal additional cards,
g) if no such identifying indicia is present, withdrawing said hole card from said shoe, and placing said masking member over said hole card as said hole card is dealt whereby a value of said hole card is concealed from view while said up card remains exposed to view, allowing said game to continue.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The invention relates to the gaming industry, and specifically the game of Blackjack. Cheating has always been a problem in the casino industry, and card games are especially susceptible. Millions of dollars are lost by casinos each year in the game of Blackjack alone due to tactics such as switching cards in play, revealing cards, marking of cards and the like. Frequently, collusion takes place among dealers and players, which makes detection difficult. Casinos spend millions of dollars on surveillance equipment and security systems in an effort to police cheating, and have achieved varying degrees of success.

[0002] Just as important to a casino in preventing the loss of money is the goal of maximizing revenue and the rate at which it is taken in. Blackjack is one game in which the rate of play can be accelerated, at least with respect to an early determination of the dealer's initial dealt hand reaching “21”. Generally, if the dealer initially deals to himself a card hand value of “21”, he is automatically the winner and the game ends there. Any player having a value less than “21” in his initially dealt two-card hand loses, and the winnings are immediately collected by the dealer. By this theory, the determination of whether the dealer has dealt himself “21” need not be delayed until each player has finished his hand. There exist devices and methods which permit the dealer to make an early determination as to whether her initially dealt hand has reached “21”. Such devices and methods are based on the premise that the combination of an ace value card and a “ten” value card automatically total and result in “21”. In the game of Blackjack, aces have a value of “eleven” (for purposes of an initial “21”) while the “ten” and jack, queen and king cards each comprise a “ten” value. The theory thus works on the process of elimination: if an ace is showing as up card, the hole card must have a “ten” value in order for “21” to be reached. If the hole card has a value other than “10”, the game must continue. Similarly, if a “10” value card is showing as the up card, the hole card must be an ace in order for “21” to be reached. If the hole card is other than an ace, the game must continue.

[0003] One such method provides for all the ace cards in the deck of cards to have a marking in the corners of the suit and rank side which signifies their particular value as an ace card. Therefore, when a ten value card is the up card, a corner of the hole card is lifted to determine the presence of the corner markings which signify that the card is an ace. If the mark is present, signifying an ace, then “21” has been achieved and the dealer has won the hand. If the mark on the hole card is not present, then the hole card must have a value other than ace. In this situation, play would continue because “21” has not been reached. This method has two significant drawbacks: first, it is limited in determining whether the value of the hole card is an ace. It does not provide a means for determining whether the hole card may have a ten value. Therefore, it is only useful when a ten value card is the up card. This described method can not be used when the up card is an ace. The second drawback is that the lifting of the corner of the card presents cheating opportunities in that too much of the card may be shown. The dealer has to be careful to lift just enough of the corner, but not more, to determine whether the identifying mark is present. It would be easy for a dishonest dealer to flash the value of the card to an accomplice sitting to his side, but, given the angle, would be difficult for an overhead security camera to detect the cheat maneuver.

[0004] Another method for determining whether the value of the hole card complements the value of the up card to reach “21” involves the use of image sensing equipment. By this method, a set of cards is modified to place an identifying mark on the ace cards and “ten” value cards to signify their respective value. A Blackjack table is modified to incorporate an image optical sensing apparatus in its playing surface and is adapted to read the identifying mark placed on the ace and “ten” cards. The apparatus is adapted to provide a visual cue if it detects the presence of the appropriate identifying mark, which signals that the hole card is an appropriately complementary value card to attain “21”. This type of apparatus is expensive to install and maintain and requires that a table be specifically adapted to receive the image sensing apparatus. If the apparatus is ever removed, the table must be extensively repaired as it will be left with a gaping hole where the apparatus had previously existed. The apparatus, while providing an efficient and rapid manner in playing the game, offers limited safeguards against cheating. Here, too, it would be easy for a dishonest dealer to flash the value of the hole card to an accomplice sitting to his side, without detection by security personnel.

[0005] There is accordingly a need for a method for playing the game of Blackjack which provides efficiency in the rate of declaring immediate dealer victory upon reaching “21” with the initially drawn hand. There is also a need for a method for inhibiting the opportunity for players to cheat by limiting their ability to manipulate or see the playing cards.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] By means of the instant invention there is provided a card system adapted for the game of Blackjack which substantially inhibits the ability to cheat, and further, enables an early detection of a dealer's achieving “21” to permit early termination of the game. The system comprises a set of otherwise standard playing cards which have been modified such that each card has its suit and rank displayed on both of its surfaces, allowing the identity of any particular card to be viewable at any time. Cheating at Blackjack can occur in many ways, primarily when the rank or suit of a supposedly concealed card is known to the dealer, or one or more players. Frequently, a card is marked beforehand in some fashion so that when it is put in play, the cheater will know what that card is. This substantially minimizes the risk that the card player would otherwise face, and can even enable the player to affect the outcome of the game. Occasionally, there is collusion between the dealer and a player, or between multiple players. In these situations, a card can be surreptitiously shown or passed to another. In other words, cheaters are able to take advantage of the fact that traditional cards are meant to be concealed from the view of opposing players. If the identity of all the cards were always open to view, opportunities to cheat would be eliminated. A cheater would not be able to modify his risk in a way that other players or the dealer would not be able to notice. The two-surfaced cards also permit surveillance and security personnel to more closely monitor the potential for cheating activity.

[0007] In the game of Blackjack, it is necessary that the dealer's hole card be hidden from view to the players, as it is the primary variable upon which the players assess their risk and lay their bets. Exposing the identity of each player's cards to each other player and the dealer would not affect the way most Blackjack games are played. Each player plays against the dealer only, not against other players. Because there are prescribed rules requiring the dealer to draw additional cards or hold based on the sum value of cards in his own hand, which takes place independently and regardless of the sum value of the players' cards, it does not matter that all cards other than the dealer's hole card be open to view. Therefore, a two-surfaced card system made according to this invention is particularly compatible with the game of Blackjack. A separate masking member is provided to screen the identity of the hole card as the dealer brings it into play. The masking member remains over the hole card until an immediate “21” is reached (from the dealer's initial two-card deal to himself) or until the players have all finished their hands and the dealer plays his hand.

[0008] Because an immediate dealer win will only occur if his initially dealt cards sum up to “21”, it is only necessary to determine whether the hole card can provide a value that will combine with the up card to reach “21”. If the hole card does not have such a complementary value, the game must continue. The only two-card combination that can sum up to “21” are an ace card and a “ten” card, the “ten” card being any of the 10, jack, queen or king. Accordingly, those cards are marked with indicia that identifies their respective value. Cards having a rank between two and nine are not marked with such identifying indicia, and must not have any other marking which might reveal their rank or suit. The card system of the instant invention provides a number of ways in which the cards may be marked with such indicia, and also provides various embodiments for selectively reading those indicia while maintaining the overall identity and value of the hole card hidden from view.

[0009] Making an early determination that the dealer has “21” speeds up the game, and obviates the need to deal out further cards. This results in a faster turnover rate and allows more games to be played in any given span of time. The instant invention describes ways by which the determination as to whether the hole card creates “21” may be made without revealing the identity of the card. Each method involves conveying the presence or absence of the identifying indicia on the hole cards. One embodiment by which the presence of a value of the hole card to complement that of the up card to reach “21” is determined is by adapting the masking member to have viewing windows at positions which have close proximity to the location where the relevant identifying indicia would be on the card. To determine whether the hole card provides a complementary match to an ace or “ten” up card to achieve “21”, the appropriate window on the masking member is lifted to reveal the presence or absence of the identifying indicia. Another method is to provide the ace and “ten” cards with elongated markings at either of the top and bottom or the side edges. The masking member may be manipulated to reveal whether the edge of the hole card displays the appropriate indicia on the card to complement the up card in reaching “21”. Another method is to modify the card shoe from which cards are dealt so that the faces of the cards remain concealed until they are removed from the shoe. Prior to dealing the hole card, a concealing member on the card shoe is manipulated to determine whether appropriate identifying indicia signifying a complementary card value to reach “21” are present. If such indicia are not present, and “21” is therefore not reached, the masking member is placed over the hole card as it is dealt from the shoe and play is continued.

[0010] The above features are objects of this invention. Further objects will appear in the detailed description which follows and will be otherwise apparent to those skilled in the art.

[0011] For purposes of illustration of this invention, preferred embodiments are shown and described hereinbelow in the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood that this is for the purpose of example only and that the invention is not limited thereto.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIGS. 1A-1D show representative cards marked according to one embodiment of the card system.

[0013] FIGS. 2A-2D show representative cards marked according to another embodiment of the card system.

[0014] FIGS. 3A-3D show representative cards marked according to another embodiment of the card system.

[0015] FIGS. 4A-4D show representative cards marked according to another embodiment of the card system.

[0016]FIG. 5 is a schematic view showing how a determination of the presence or absence of “b 21” is made according to one embodiment of the invention.

[0017]FIG. 6 is a schematic view showing how a determination of the presence or absence of “21” is made according to another embodiment of the invention.

[0018]FIG. 7 is a view in side elevation of a typical shoe for dispensing playing cards, with its side partially removed.

[0019]FIG. 8 is a schematic view showing how a determination of the presence or absence of “21” is made according to another embodiment of the invention in which a card shoe is adapted with a concealing member.

[0020]FIG. 9 is an additional schematic view showing how a determination of the presence or absence of “21” is made according to another embodiment of the invention in which a card shoe is adapted with a concealing member.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0021] Each card of the present invention comprises an otherwise conventional card having the traditional suit and rank designation of standard playing cards. Representative cards comprising the various embodiments are shown in the drawings. For example, the ace card 10, jack card 12, “10” card 14, and “4” card 16 are depicted in FIGS. 1A-1D. Each respective card has its suit and rank designation placed on both its front and back surfaces. The drawings naturally only show one of the two surfaces 18 of a card, but it is to be understood that the other surface of the card is identical. The card surface 18 for any particular card features a suit designation 20 and a rank designation 22, and may include other design elements. A picture of the royalty FIG. 24 on jack card 12, or multiple symbols 26 on card 16 corresponding in number to the card's rank, may also be included on the card's surface as known to those skilled in the art.

[0022] By having each card marked with its suit and rank on both of its surfaces, its identity remains exposed to view by the dealer and all players, as well as to security and surveillance crews. The chances for cheating by marking, flashing or switching cards are therefore substantially reduced. Because these cards have their rank and suit exposed at all times, there is no advantage to be gained by marking cards. A marked card is only useful if its suit and/or rank are concealed, and the player takes advantage by knowing what the identity of that card is before the appropriate time it is to be revealed. A two-surfaced card would substantially inhibit card switching, because it would be difficult to switch the identity of a played card when other players would be able to immediately be aware that a different card was substituted. Further, there would be no point to engage in card flashing if the card's identity is already known.

[0023] Notwithstanding the benefits realized in eliminating cheating by exposing the identity of all cards as discussed above, it is required in the game of Blackjack that the dealer's hole card be concealed from view while the players play their hands. The invention, however, allows for a limited inspection of the hole card so that it can be determined whether its value will combine with the already dealt up card to achieve the sum of “21”. As discussed above, a round of Blackjack can be terminated early by the dealer if his initially dealt hand of two cards combine to reach “21”. Accordingly, it is only necessary to establish the presence of certain cards, specifically, the ace card in combination with any of the “10” cards. If any of these cards are absent in the initially dealt hand, it is impossible for the dealer to hit “21” early, and the game must continue until all players have finished their hands.

[0024] In order to make this determination possible without revealing the identity of the hole card, indicia are placed on the ace and “10” cards to identify them as such. These types of indicia are omitted from all other non-ace and non-“10” cards so that they are distinguishable. The indicia can take many forms, and some of them are shown in the drawings. The cards in FIGS. 1A-1C have identifying indicia that comprise a discrete, localized marking along a margin edge of the card surface. Ace card 10 has indicia 28 placed at a primary location at the upper side edge of surface 18. This type of indicia should be placed at a distance from any rank or suit identifiers so that when a dealer inspects the card for the indicia, only the indicia can be viewed while other identifiers remain concealed. A second identical indicia 30 is placed at an opposite orientation on the card as shown in FIG. 1A so that it appears at the same primary location from the perspective of a viewer when the card is rotated 180° within its plane. For cards having a value of “10”, such as those shown in FIGS. 1B and 1C, a similar indicia 32 is placed at a secondary location at the lower edge of the card's surface, at a distance remote from the indicia at the primary location and from any other rank or suit identifiers. Also, second identical indicia 34 is placed at an opposite orientation on the card as shown in FIGS. 1B and 1C so that it appears at the same secondary location from the perspective of a viewer when the card is rotated 180° within its plane. All remaining cards that have neither an ace nor a “10” value are restricted from having any type of indicia or identifiers at the locations of indicia 28, 30, 32, or 34. It is to be understood that the positioning of the respective indicia on the ace and “10” cards may be switched whereby the indicia on the ace cards is placed towards the lower edge and the indicia on the “10” cards is placed towards the upper edge. The goal is to have one of the “21” complementary cards associated with the identifying indicia at a primary location and to have the other “21” complementary card associated with the identifying indicia at a secondary location so that they may be distinguishable.

[0025] The identifying indicia for marking aces and “10” value cards may comprise various forms, designs or characters. For example, the cards in FIGS. 2A-2C show the indicia as comprising the rank designation of the particular card (i.e., ace or “10”). Additionally, the placement of the indicia may be presented at other locations. In the cards shown in FIGS. 2A-2C, the indicia 36 for the ace card is placed in the upper right corner at the edge of the card, and the indicia 38 for the “10” value cards is placed in the upper left hand corner. Second identical indicia 40 for the ace card and 42 for the “10” value cards are placed at respective opposite locations on the cards as shown in FIGS. 2A-2C so that they appear at the same location from the perspective of a viewer when the cards are rotated 180° within their plane. It is to be understood that the positioning of the respective indicia on the ace and “10” cards may be switched whereby the indicia on the ace cards is placed in the upper left corner and the indicia on the “10” cards is placed in the upper right hand corner. FIGS. 3A-3C show a similar arrangement to that of FIGS. 2A-2C where the indicia placed in the corner comprises a discrete, localized mark 44. In every embodiment, cards numbered two through nine have no marking of any kind at any indicia location.

[0026] As with conventional cards when playing the game of Blackjack, the hole card must remain concealed from view at the time of initial deal-out, at least until it can be determined whether “21” has been reached. Because the cards of the present invention have their rank and suit on both surfaces, a separate member for covering up, or otherwise concealing, the hole card must be used. As shown in FIG. 5, a masking member 46 can be placed over the hole card while the game is in play. It is placed over the hole card as it is dealt out so that its identity is not inadvertently disclosed. The masking member may comprise any article that effectively conceals the entire card from view. It may be made of practically any material that will maintain its shape, such as wood or plastic, but may have a certain degree of flexibility. It must have a dimension large enough to completely cover and conceal the entire card.

[0027]FIG. 5 presents a schematic view of the use of the card system of the present invention. During the initial deal, an up card 48 is dealt along with a hole card that is concealed by masking member 46. If the up card 48 is an ace (as shown), it presents a situation where the hole card may be a complementary “10” value card which will sum to “21”. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 5, the identifying indicia and its location placement on the card is that shown on the card series in FIGS. 2A-2D. In this case, the up card 48 is an ace and its identifying indicia 36 is an ace placed in the top right hand corner. For this type of indicia, masking member 46 is provided with windows or flaps 50 and 52, which are disposed in the masking member at locations approximating those of the identifying indicia of the cards. Windows 50 and 52 are only shown here schematically. It is understood that their precise structure could take a number of different forms which would be well known to those having skill in the art. The dimensions of the masking member of this embodiment must nearly approximate that of the underlying hole card so that the windows 50 and 52 may properly align with the location of the identifying indicia. Instructive language may be placed on the surface of the masking member at each window to prompt the dealer to inspect underneath for the presence of the indicia on the hole card that would identify the complementary value to the up card to achieve “21”. As can be seen in FIG. 5, words such as “IF UP CARD IS “10”, LIFT HERE” can be placed at window 50, which if lifted would reveal the identifying indicia for an ace card if it were present, and that value would combine with the “10” card to sum up to “21”. If the ace were indeed present, and “21” was reached the game would end at that point. If no indicia were present under window 50, that would mean that a card other than an ace was the hole card. Therefore, play would continue because “21” would not have been reached. Likewise, words such as “IF UP CARD IS “ACE”, LIFT HERE” can be placed at window 52, which if lifted would reveal the identifying indicia for a “10” value card if it were present, and that value would combine with the ace card to sum up to “21”. If a “10” value card were indeed present, and “21” was reached the game would end at that point. If no indicia were present under window 52, that would mean that a card other than one having a “10” value was the hole card. Therefore, play would continue because “21” would not have been reached. Of course, if the up card was neither an ace nor a “10” value card, neither of the windows would be lifted and the card would remain concealed until all the players have finished their hands.

[0028] In the specific example of FIG. 5, an ace card has been dealt as the up card. This presents a situation where an early “21” is possible. Early “21” would be also be possible if the up card was a “10” value card. If the up card was anything other than an ace or a “10” value card, early “21” would not be possible, and play would have to continue until all the players had finished their hands. In that case, it would not be necessary to make an early determination of the hole card at all and neither window would be opened. With the up card being an ace in the situation in FIG. 5, a “10” value card is sought in order to reach “21”, and window 52 is opened. Three scenarios of possible hole cards exist. Masking member 46 is partially broken away to reveal the underlying hole card. In the first scenario, identified generally by the reference numeral 54, hole card 56 is neither an ace nor a “10” value card. As such, it will have no identifying indicia of any type. Because no indicia would be present under window 52, play continues. In the second scenario, identified generally by the reference numeral 58, hole card 60 is an ace card. It has its identifying indicia 36 in the upper right and lower left hand corners and will not appear under window 52. Because no indicia is present on the hole card 60 under window 52 in this situation either, play continues. In the third scenario, identified generally by the reference numeral 62, hole card 64 is a jack, and therefore a “10” value card. It has its identifying indicia 38 at the approximate same location as window 52, and will therefore appear. In this case, the hole card is revealed to be a card having a value complementary to the ace up card so that “21” is achieved. With that, the game is over and the dealer collects the bets and pays out any winnings. The same principles apply if the up card is a “10” value card. In that case, window 50 would be opened to determine the presence of a complementary ace card to achieve “21”. Only the identifying indicia 36 of the ace card would appear under window 50. It is to be understood that the arrangement of windows may vary, such that the windows appear along the top or bottom edge of masking member 46. Similarly, a wide variety of instructive phrases and designations could be made to direct the dealer to lift only the appropriate window in search of the appropriate complementary card. Also, the window can be made to be a sliding member, or any other moveable element, instead of a flap.

[0029] Another embodiment as shown in FIGS. 4A-4D shows representative cards bearing identifying indicia which comprise an elongated marking, or stripe at the margin edge, which extends a substantial distance along the edge of the card. Ace card 66 has indicia 68 placed at its upper side edge. This marking should be slightly offset from the top edge of the card to make it easier to notice. The marking should extend for a substantial distance, but not reach to the side edges of the card and should be spaced away from those edges. A second identical indicia 70 is placed at an opposite orientation on the card as shown in FIG. 4A so that it appears at the same location from the perspective of a viewer when the card is rotated 180° within its plane. For cards having a value of “10”, such as those shown in FIGS. 4B and 4C, a similar elongated marking indicia 72 is placed at the side edge of the card's surface. This marking also should not extend to the top or bottom edges of the card. Second identical indicia 74 is placed at the opposite side edge on the card as shown in FIGS. 4B and 4C so that it appears at the same location from the perspective of a viewer when the card is rotated 180° within its plane. All remaining cards that have neither an ace nor a “10” value are restricted from having any type of indicia or identifiers at the locations of indicia 68, 70, 72, or 74. It is to be understood that the positioning of the respective indicia on the ace and “10” cards may be switched whereby the indicia on the ace cards is placed on the side edges and the indicia on the “10” cards is placed on the top and bottom edges.

[0030]FIG. 6 presents a schematic view of the use of the card system where the indicia comprise the elongated markings on the cards as shown in FIGS. 4A-4C. During the initial deal, an up card 76 is dealt along with a hole card that is concealed by masking member 78. If the up card 76 is a “10” value card (as shown), it presents a situation where the hole card may be a complementary ace card which will sum to “21”. In this embodiment, the up card 76 is a “10” value card and its elongated identifying indicia 72 extends along the sides of the card. For this type of indicia, masking member 78 is moved in relation to the hole card so that an edge of the hole card, and only so much as to reveal the elongated marking, is uncovered. In order that the elongated marking on one edge is not inadvertently displayed as the marking member is withdrawn from the card's adjacent edge, the elongated markings are restricted from extending completely from one side of the card to the other. In this embodiment, it is important that the specific rank and suit identifiers be placed inwardly from the edge of the card so as not to be revealed when the masking member is moved. Instructive language may be placed on the surface of the masking member at the appropriate respective edges to prompt the dealer to move the masking member at the proper edge to inspect underneath for the presence of the indicia on the hole card that would identify the complementary value to the up card to achieve “21”. As can be seen in FIG. 6, words such as “IF UP CARD IS “10”, MOVE TOWARDS THIS DIRECTION” can be placed at the top edge of masking member 78 with a downward pointing arrow, which if so moved would reveal the identifying indicia for an ace card if it were present, and that value would combine with the “10” card to sum up to “21”. If the ace were indeed present, and “21” was reached the game would end at that point. If no indicia were present at the top edge of the hole card, that would mean that a card other than an ace was the hole card. Therefore, play would continue because “21” would not have been reached. Likewise, words such as “IF UP CARD IS “ACE”, MOVE TOWARDS THIS DIRECTION” can be placed at the side edge of masking member 78 with a sideways pointing arrow, which if so moved would reveal the identifying indicia for a “10” value card if it were present, and that value would combine with the ace card to sum up to “21”. If a “10” value card were indeed present, and “21” was reached the game would end at that point. If no indicia were present at the side edge of the hole card, that would mean that a card other than one having a “10” value was the hole card. Therefore, play would continue because “21” would not have been reached. Of course, if the up card was neither an ace nor a “10” value card, the masking member would not be moved and would remain over the hole card, concealing it until all the players have finished their hands.

[0031] In the specific example of FIG. 6, a “10” value card has been dealt as the up card. This presents a situation where an early “21” is possible. Early “21” would be also be possible if the up card was an ace card. If the up card was anything other than a “10” value or ace card, early “21” would not be possible, and play would have to continue until all the players had finished their hands. In that case, it would not be necessary to make an early determination of the hole card at all and masking member 78 should remain in place over the hole card. With the up card being a “10” value card in the situation in FIG. 6, an ace card is sought in order to reach “21”, and masking member 78 is moved downwards to reveal the top edge of the hole card. Three scenarios of possible hole cards exist. Masking member 78 is partially broken away to reveal the underlying hole card. In the first scenario, identified generally by the reference numeral 80, hole card 82 is neither an ace nor a “10” value card. As such, it will have no identifying indicia of any type. Because no indicia would be present at the top of hole card 82, play continues. In the second scenario, identified generally by the reference numeral 84, hole card 86 is a “10” value card. It has its elongated marking identifying indicia 74 at the side edge of hole card 86 and will not appear at the top edge of the card as revealed by withdrawing masking member 78. Because no indicia is present in this situation either, play continues. In the third scenario, identified generally by the reference numeral 88, hole card 90 is an ace card. Elongated marking identifying indicia 68 is at the top edge of hole card 90, and will therefore appear when masking member 78 is pulled downward. In this case, the hole card is revealed to be a card having a value complementary to the “10” up card so that “21” is achieved. With that, the game is over and the dealer wins. The same principles apply if the up card is an ace card. In that case, masking member 78 would be moved sideways to determine the presence of a complementary “10” value card to achieve “21”. Only the elongated marking identifying indicia 72 of the “10” value card would appear under at the side edge of hole card 86 when the masking member is moved sideways and away from the edge of the hole card. It is to be understood that the arrangement of the respective elongated markings on the ace and “10” value cards may be reversed. Similarly, a wide variety of instructive phrases and designations could be made to direct the dealer to move the masking member in search of the appropriate complementary card.

[0032] Another embodiment of the invention comprises a card shoe that has been modified to conceal the identity of the two-surfaced cards prior to being dealt from the shoe. A typical card shoe 92 is shown in FIG. 7, which shows a portion its side cut away to reveal the stacking arrangement of cards 94 therein. The cards are conventionally placed with their long side down. A biasing member is usually employed within the shoe to urge the cards towards the front of the shoe from which they are dealt. The front of the shoe 96 is typically formed with a rearwardly-inclining angle to facilitate the easy removal of cards. These features are conventional in card shoes and form no part of the present invention per se.

[0033] While the front face of standard card shoes may have open areas to facilitate access to the cards so they may be easily dealt, a card shoe used in connection with the present invention, where the identity of the card appears on both its surfaces, must be able to conceal the identity of the hole card. A modified card shoe 100 for use with the present invention is shown in FIG. 8. It comprises a concealing member at its front face 102 so that the identity of the cards 104 in the shoe may be hidden. The concealing member, as shown, may comprise a wall 106 extending substantially across the front of the shoe, with a slot 108 formed therein for access to the cards. Slot 108 may be provided with a curtain or sliding member 110 for additional concealment. The concealing member might also consist of the entire front face of the shoe being comprised of a sliding element which can be lifted up and down. Windows 112 and 114 are provided in the front face of the shoe at locations that are in close proximity to the location of identifying indicia on the cards for designating ace and “10” value cards. The shoe embodiment 100 shown in FIG. 8 is compatible with the indicia scheme of the cards shown in FIGS. 1A-1D, where the indicia comprise discrete localized markings at the side edge of the cards. The interior dimension of shoe 100 should only be slightly longer than the dimension of the card held therein. It is necessary to provide a relatively close tolerance so that the card can not slide too far back and forth within the shoe, which otherwise could move the card's indicia out of alignment with windows 112 and 114.

[0034]FIG. 8 further shows the card system of the present invention being used in connection with shoe 100. During the initial deal, an up card 116 is dealt, but the hole card 118 (shown in phantom) remains temporarily held in shoe 100, concealed by wall 106. If the up card 116 is a “10” value card (as shown), it presents a situation where the hole card may be a complementary ace card which will sum to “21”. The location of the identifying indicia on these cards are at the upper or lower portion of a card at its side edge as shown on the card series in FIGS. 1A-1C. As the cards lie in the shoe, they are placed on their sides so that the indicia are located at the left or right portion of the card at its edge. In the scenario shown in FIG. 8, the up card 116 is a jack, which is a “10” value card and its identifying indicia 120 is a localized mark placed in the lower left hand corner (or upper right corner when rotated 180°.) For this type of indicia, the front face 102 of the shoe is provided with windows or flaps 112 and 114, which are disposed at locations approximating that of the locations of the respective identifying indicia of the cards. Instructive language may be placed above each window to prompt the dealer to inspect underneath for the presence of the indicia on the hole card that would identify the complementary value to the up card to achieve “21”. As can be seen in FIG. 8, words such as “IF UP CARD IS “10”, LIFT HERE” can be placed at window 112, which if lifted would reveal the identifying indicia for an ace card if it were present, and that value would combine with the “10” card to sum up to “21”. If the ace were indeed present, and “21” was reached the game would end at that point. If no indicia were present under window 112, that would mean that a card other than an ace was the hole card. Therefore, play would continue because “21” would not have been reached. Likewise, words such as “IF UP CARD IS “ACE”, LIFT HERE” can be placed at window 114, which if lifted would reveal the identifying indicia for a “10” value card if it were present, and that value would combine with the ace card to sum up to “21”. If a “10” value card were indeed present, and “21” was reached the game would end at that point. If no indicia were present under window 114, that would mean that a card other than one having a “10” value was the hole card. Therefore, play would continue because “21” would not have been reached. Of course, if the up card was neither an ace nor a “10” value card, neither of the windows would be lifted and the card would remain concealed until all the players have finished their hands.

[0035]FIG. 8 shows the concealed hole card 118 to be an ace card. It can be seen that its identifying indicia 122 will align with window 112, where it can be viewed by lifting the window. As explained earlier, a second indicia 124 is placed at a location similar to that for indicia 122 from the perspective of a viewer when the cards are rotated 180 degrees within their plane. This enables the appropriate indicia of the cards to always be aligned with the proper window when it is loaded in the shoe. Once it is determined that hole card 118 is an ace card, thus complementing the jack “10” value card 116 to achieve “21”, that particular Blackjack hand is over. Hole card 118 is removed from the shoe, and the dealer collects from the losing players and pays out the winners.

[0036]FIG. 9 presents a scenario where the up card 126 is a “10” value card, but the hole card 128 (shown in phantom) is neither an ace nor a “10” value card. The dealer would look for an ace to complement the “10” value up card 126 by opening window 112. Because there would be no identifying indicia visible through that window, the hole card 128 could not be an ace. Therefore, “21” could not be achieved with those dealt cards alone. In that circumstance, the Blackjack round would have to continue until all the players finish their hands. Before the game is continued, however, hole card 128 is withdrawn from the shoe and placed on the table. Given that each playing card has its suit and rank displayed on both its surfaces, masking member 130 must be placed over hole card 128 as it is removed from the shoe so that its value is not prematurely displayed. The masking member must remain over the hole card until all the players finish their hands. Masking member 130 may be similar in size and material composition to masking member 78.

[0037] It should be understood that the card system of the instant invention may exist in yet further embodiments. Practically any form of indicia may be used on the cards as well as the means to selectively reveal them without disclosing the identity of the card. The identifying indicia may be placed at varying locations on the cards, as long as indicia for the ace cards are placed at a location spaced apart from “10” value cards, and both types of indicia are spaced apart from the suit and rank identifiers of each card, and further, that the masking member is able to selectively reveal the identifying indicia while keeping the rest of the card hidden from view.

[0038] Various changes and modifications may be made within this invention as will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications are within the scope and teaching of this invention.

Referenced by
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US7762889 *Aug 4, 2009Jul 27, 2010Angel Playing Cards Co., Ltd.Table game system
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US8308163 *Sep 4, 2008Nov 13, 2012Angel Playing Cards Co., Ltd.Table game system
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WO2005037385A1 *Oct 14, 2004Apr 28, 2005Bally Gaming Int IncMethod, apparatus and article for determining an initial hand in a playing card game, such as blackjack or baccarat
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WO2013099168A1 *Dec 20, 2012Jul 4, 2013Angel Playing Cards Co., Ltd.Playing cards and system
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/304
International ClassificationA63F1/00, A63F1/02, A63F1/14
Cooperative ClassificationA63F1/14, A63F2001/003, A63F1/02
European ClassificationA63F1/14, A63F1/02