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Publication numberUS20050035549 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/638,778
Publication dateFeb 17, 2005
Filing dateAug 11, 2003
Priority dateAug 11, 2003
Also published asWO2005018761A2, WO2005018761A3
Publication number10638778, 638778, US 2005/0035549 A1, US 2005/035549 A1, US 20050035549 A1, US 20050035549A1, US 2005035549 A1, US 2005035549A1, US-A1-20050035549, US-A1-2005035549, US2005/0035549A1, US2005/035549A1, US20050035549 A1, US20050035549A1, US2005035549 A1, US2005035549A1
InventorsWilliam Zeng
Original AssigneeZeng William B.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Game equipment and games
US 20050035549 A1
Abstract
Alphabet game equipment for the playing of alphabet, word, numerical, and/or other amusement and educational games, said alphabet game equipment comprising one or more pluralities of playing faces, a said plurality of playing faces consisting essentially of, in combination, a plurality of base character playing faces and one or a combination of pluralities of supplementary character playing faces, a said plurality of supplementary character playing faces being a member selected from the group consisting of Repeat character playing faces, bonus character playing faces, and a combination of Wild and Super Wild character playing faces. Also, alphabet compendium games including trick-taking games, pseudo trick-taking games, and a Wood Picker game, and alphabet and word puzzle games including a Table Puzzle game and a Seven Lives game.
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Claims(37)
1. Game equipment having one or more pluralities of playing faces for playing games with alphabet characters and words of a predetermined or playable vocabulary of an alphabetic language and for playing other games, a said plurality of playing faces consisting essentially of, in combination:
a plurality of base character playing faces, consisting of twenty four or more base character playing faces, a said base character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising base character indicia, said base character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters so displayed and represented by the base character indicia born by said plurality of base character playing faces collectively forming a base character group, said base character group consisting of at least one each of the standard alphabet letters, and a selected number of non-standard alphabet characters, of the words of said playable vocabulary, or of the characters of said alphabetic language; and
a plurality of supplementary character playing faces, consisting of a plurality of playing faces distinguished from said base character playing faces by way of difference or differences in indicia means on the playing faces, said plurality of supplementary character playing faces being a member or a combination of members selected from the group consisting of:
first plurality of supplementary character playing faces, comprising one to twelve, preferably four to six, first wild character playing faces, a said first wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising first wild character indicia, said first wild character indicia displaying and representing a first wild character, said first wild character playing face or first wild character being designed for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character that occurs a second time, or a third, a fourth, and so on, i.e., repeated, in the word, or otherwise repeated in the playing of a game, said first wild character indicia or first wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment;
second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, consisting of eight to sixteen, preferably twelve, bonus character playing faces, a said bonus character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising bonus character indicia, said bonus character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters so displayed and represented by the bonus character indicia born by said second plurality of supplementary character playing faces collectively forming a bonus character group, said bonus character group consisting of one or more copies of vowels, consonants, or a combination thereof, all or a substantial number of which vowels, consonants, or a combination thereof, preferably those that most commonly occur repeated or most frequently occur in words of said playable vocabulary and that further have certain special cultural significance, certain special lexicon significance, or a combination thereof, are selected from the base character group, the indicia means born by each of said bonus character playing faces further comprising distinction indicia means to distinguish said bonus character playing faces as a group or a type of playing faces from said base character playing faces and from any other types of playing faces that may be present in said game equipment; and
third plurality of supplementary character playing faces, consisting of a combination of one to twelve, preferably four to six, second wild character playing faces and one or more, preferably two or four, third wild character playing faces, a said second wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising second wild character indicia, said second wild character indicia displaying and representing a second wild character, said second wild character playing face or second wild character being suitable for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character of the group of conventional alphabet characters non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, a said third wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising third wild character indicia, said third wild character indicia displaying and representing a third wild character, said third wild character playing face or third wild character being designed for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character, excepting any conventional alphabet character that is found in the group of conventional alphabet characters non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, said second wild character indicia or second wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said third wild character indicia or third wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment, said third wild character indicia or third wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said second wild character indicia or second wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment.
2. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
3. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
4. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
5. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces and the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
6. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces and the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
7. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces and the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
8. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, and the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces.
9. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the indicia means born by each base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numeral, preferably a natural integer, having conventionally a numerical value, the numerals so displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the bonus character playing faces having numerical values distinctly higher than the numerals displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the base character playing faces.
10. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces and the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the indicia means born by each base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numeral, preferably a natural integer, having conventionally a numerical value, the numerals so displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the bonus character playing faces having numerical values distinctly higher than the numerals displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the base character playing faces.
11. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces and the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the indicia means born by each base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numeral, preferably a natural integer, having conventionally a numerical value, the numerals so displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the bonus character playing faces having numerical values distinctly higher than the numerals displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the base character playing faces.
12. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces and the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the indicia means born by each base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numeral, preferably a natural integer, having conventionally a numerical value, the numerals so displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the bonus character playing faces having numerical values distinctly higher than the numerals displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia of the base character playing faces.
13. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces,
the twenty-four or more base character playing faces of the plurality of base character playing faces comprising twenty-four to forty base character playing faces as core equipment base character playing faces, said core equipment base character playing faces being divided into a plurality of ranks of core equipment base character playing faces, each of said ranks of core equipment base character playing faces consisting of an identical number of core equipment base character playing faces, said identical number of core equipment base character playing faces being a number greater than two and preferably selected from the group consisting of three, four, five, six, and ten;
the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces consisting of eight to sixteen, preferably twelve, bonus character playing faces divided into a plurality of ranks of bonus character playing faces, each of said ranks of bonus character playing faces consisting of an identical number of bonus character playing faces, said identical number of bonus character playing faces being a number greater than two and preferably selected from the group consisting of three, four, five, and six;
the plurality of playing faces of the game equipment further comprising two ranks of Wild character playing faces, each of said ranks of Wild character playing faces consisting of four or five Wild character playing faces, a said Wild character playing face bearing indicia means comprising Wild character indicia, said Wild character indicia displaying and representing a Wild character suitable for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character, said Wild character indicia or Wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment;
different ranks of the base and the bonus character playing faces being assigned different rank orders having different rank order values, the indicia means born by each core equipment base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a natural integer having a numerical value same as or corresponding to the rank order value of the playing face bearing the numerical point value indicia, the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base or bonus character indicia born by base or bonus character playing faces of a same rank generally having a similar frequency or frequencies of occurrence in the words of the playable vocabulary, similar cultural significance, similar lexicon significance, or a combination thereof, the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base character indicia of base character playing faces of a lower rank having generally a higher frequency or frequencies of occurrence in the words of the playable vocabulary than the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base character indicia of base character playing faces of a higher rank, and the rank order values of the bonus character playing faces being higher than those of the base character playing faces.
14. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces with the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the number of first wild character playing faces in said first plurality of supplementary character playing faces being four to ten, preferably, four, five, or six, said first plurality of supplementary character playing faces further comprising a plurality of second wild character playing faces, said plurality of second wild character playing faces consisting of four to ten, preferably, four, five, or six second wild character playing faces, a said second wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising second wild character indicia, said second wild character indicia displaying and representing a second wild character, said second wild character playing face or second wild character being suitable for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character selected from the group of conventional alphabet characters that are non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, said second wild character indicia or second wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said first wild character indicia or first wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment.
15. The game equipment of claim 1, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces with the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, the number of first wild character playing faces in said first plurality of supplementary character playing faces being four to ten, preferably four, five, or six, said first plurality of supplementary character playing faces further comprising a plurality of second wild character playing faces, said plurality of second wild character playing faces consisting of four to ten, preferably, four, five, or six second wild character playing faces, a said second wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising second wild character indicia, said second wild character indicia displaying and representing a second wild character, said second wild character playing face or second wild character being designed for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character selected from the group of conventional alphabet characters that are non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, excepting any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word or that otherwise may be represented by a said first wild character playing face or said first wild character, said second wild character indicia or second wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said first wild character indicia or said first wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment.
16. The game equipment of claim 10, wherein the number of first wild character playing faces in the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces is four to ten, preferably, four, five, or six, the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces further comprising a plurality of second wild character playing faces, said plurality of second wild character playing faces consisting of four to ten, preferably, four, five, or six second wild character playing faces, a said second wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising second wild character indicia, said second wild character indicia displaying and representing a second wild character, said second wild character playing face or second wild character being designed for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character selected from the group of conventional alphabet characters that are non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, excepting any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word or that otherwise may be represented by a said first wild character playing face or said first wild character, said second wild character indicia or second wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said first wild character indicia or said first wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment.
17. The game equipment of claim 12, wherein
the twenty-four or more base character playing faces of the plurality of base character playing faces comprise twenty-four to forty base character playing faces as core equipment base character playing faces, said core equipment base character playing faces being divided into a plurality of ranks of core equipment base character playing faces, each of said ranks of core equipment base character playing faces preferably consisting of an identical number of core equipment base character playing faces, said identical number of core equipment base character playing faces being a number greater than two and preferably selected from the group consisting of three, four, five, six, and ten;
the number of bonus character playing faces in the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces being in the range of eight to sixteen, preferably twelve or fifteen, said bonus character playing faces being divided into a plurality of ranks of bonus character playing faces, each of said ranks of bonus character playing faces preferably consisting of an identical number of bonus character playing faces, said identical number of bonus character playing faces being a number greater than two and preferably selected from the group consisting of three, four, five, and six;
each rank of the base and the bonus character playing faces being assigned a different rank order having a different rank order value, the numerals displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia born by each base or bonus character playing face being a natural integer having a numerical value the same as or corresponding to the rank order value of the playing face bearing the numerical point value indicia, the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base or bonus character indicia born by base or bonus character playing faces of a same rank generally having a similar frequency or frequencies of occurrence in the words of the playable vocabulary, similar cultural significance, similar lexicon significance, or a combination thereof, the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base character indicia of base character playing faces of a lower rank having generally a higher frequency or frequencies of occurrence in words of the playable vocabulary than the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base character indicia of base character playing faces of a higher rank.
18. The game equipment of claim 14, wherein
the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is the combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces with the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces;
the twenty-four or more base character playing faces of the plurality of base character playing faces comprising twenty-four to forty base character playing faces as core equipment base character playing faces said core equipment base character playing faces being divided into a plurality of ranks of core equipment base character playing faces, each of said ranks of core equipment base character playing faces consisting of an identical number of core equipment base character playing faces, said identical number of core equipment base character playing faces being a number greater than two and preferably selected from the group consisting of three, four, five, six, and ten;
the number of bonus character playing faces in the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces being in the range of eight to sixteen, preferably twelve or fifteen, said bonus character playing faces being divided into a plurality of ranks of bonus character playing faces, each of said ranks of bonus character playing faces consisting of an identical number of bonus character playing faces, said identical number of bonus character playing faces being a number greater than two and preferably selected from the group consisting of three, four, five, and six;
different ranks of the base and the bonus character playing faces being assigned different rank orders having different rank order values, the indicia means born by each core equipment base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a natural integer having a numerical value same as or corresponding to the rank order value of the playing face bearing the numerical point value indicia, the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base or bonus character indicia born by base or bonus character playing faces of a same rank generally having a similar frequency or frequencies of occurrence in the words of the playable vocabulary, similar cultural significance, similar lexicon significance, or a combination thereof, the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the base character indicia of base character playing faces of a lower rank having generally a higher frequency or frequencies of occurrence in the words of the playable vocabulary than the alphabet letters displayed and represented by the character indicia of base character playing faces of a higher rank, and the rank order values of the bonus character playing faces being higher than those of the base character playing faces.
19. The game equipment of claim 18, wherein the number of first wild character playing faces in the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces is four, the number of second wild character playing faces being the same as the number of the first wild character playing faces, the four second wild character playing faces forming a first rank of playing faces having a rank order value of one, the four first wild character playing faces forming a second rank of playing faces having a rank order value of two, there being six to nine, preferably eight, ranks of core equipment base character playing faces in a set of the game equipment, each of said ranks of core equipment base character playing faces comprising four core equipment base character playing faces the number of bonus character playing faces being twelve, the number of ranks of bonus character playing faces being three, each rank of bonus character playing faces consisting of an identical number of four bonus character playing faces, the numerical point value indicia born by the base and the bonus character playing faces displaying and representing natural integers in the range of three to fourteen.
20. A game comprising game equipment, game rules, and game steps, for playing with alphabet characters and words of a predetermined or playable vocabulary of an alphabetic language, said game equipment having one or more pluralities of playing faces, a said plurality of playing faces consisting essentially of, in combination:
a plurality of base character playing faces, consisting of twenty four or more base character playing faces, a said base character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising base character indicia, said base character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters so displayed and represented by the base character indicia born by said plurality of base character playing faces collectively forming a base character group, said base character group consisting of at least one each of the standard alphabet letters, and a selected number of non-standard alphabet characters, of the words of said playable vocabulary, or of the characters of said alphabetic language; and
a plurality of supplementary character playing faces, consisting of a plurality of playing faces distinguished from said base character playing faces by way of difference or differences in indicia means on the playing faces, said plurality of supplementary character playing faces being a member or a combination of members selected from the group consisting of:
first plurality of supplementary character playing faces, comprising one to twelve, preferably four to six, first wild character playing faces, a said first wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising first wild character indicia, said first wild character indicia displaying and representing a first wild character, said first wild character playing face or first wild character being used, in construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of the game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character that occurs a second time, or a third, a fourth, and so on, i.e., repeated, in the word, or otherwise repeated in the playing of the game, said first wild character indicia or first wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment;
second plurality of supplementary character playing faces, consisting of eight to sixteen, preferably twelve, bonus character playing faces, a said bonus character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising bonus character indicia, said bonus character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters so displayed and represented by the bonus character indicia born by said second plurality of supplementary character playing faces collectively forming a bonus character group, said bonus character group consisting of one or more copies of vowels, consonants, or a combination thereof, all or a substantial number of which vowels, consonants, or a combination thereof, preferably those that most commonly occur repeated or most frequently occur in words of said playable vocabulary, and that further have certain special cultural significance, certain special lexicon significance, or a combination thereof, are selected from the base character group, the indicia means born by each of said bonus character playing faces further comprising distinction indicia means to distinguish said bonus character playing faces as a group or a type of playing faces from said base character playing faces and from any other types of playing faces that may be present in said game equipment; and
third plurality of supplementary character playing faces, consisting of a combination of one to twelve, preferably four to six, second wild character playing faces and one or more, preferably two or four, third wild character playing faces, a said second wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising second wild character indicia, said second wild character indicia displaying and representing a second wild character, said second wild character playing face or second wild character being suitable for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of the game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character of the group of conventional alphabet characters non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, a said third wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising third wild character indicia, said third wild character indicia displaying and representing a third wild character, said third wild character playing face or third wild character being used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of the game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character, excepting any conventional alphabet character that is found in the group of conventional alphabet characters non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, said second wild character indicia or second wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said third wild character indicia or third wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment, said third wild character indicia or third wild character consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said second wild character indicia or second wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment.
21. The game of claim 20, wherein
the plurality of supplementary character playing face is the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces with one or both of the second and the third pluralities of supplementary character playing faces; and
the game rules comprising a first wild character rule, said first wild character rule permitting the use of a first wild character playing face to be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of the game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word, or otherwise repeated in the playing of the game.
22. The game of claim 20, wherein
the plurality of supplementary character playing face is the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces with one or both of the first and the third pluralities of supplementary character playing faces; and
the game rules comprising a bonus character score rule, said bonus character score rule permitting the assignment to a bonus character playing face bearing an alphabet character the same as a base character playing face a score point different from the score point assigned to the base character playing face bearing the same alphabet character in the playing of the game.
23. The game of claim 20, wherein
the plurality of supplementary character playing face is the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces with one or both of the first and the third pluralities of supplementary character playing faces; and
the game rules comprising a bonus character rank rule, said bonus character rank rule permitting the assignment to a bonus character playing face bearing an alphabet character the same as a base character playing face a rank order different from, preferably higher than, the rank order assigned to the base character playing face bearing the same alphabet character during the playing of the game.
24. The game of claim 20, wherein
the plurality of supplementary character playing face is the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces with one or both of the first and the second pluralities of supplementary character playing faces; and
the game rules comprising a strict use third wild character rule, said strict use third wild character rule permitting the use of a third wild character playing face or a lthird wild character as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character, excepting any conventional alphabet character that is found in the set of conventional alphabet characters non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment.
25. The game of claim 20, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing face is the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces or a combination of the first plurality of supplementary character playing faces with the second plurality of supplementary character playing faces,
said first plurality of supplementary character playing faces further comprising a plurality of second wild character playing faces, a said second wild character playing face consisting of a playing face bearing indicia means comprising second wild character indicia, said second wild character indicia displaying and representing a second wild character, said second wild character indicia or second wild character being suitable for use as a generic representation of any alphabet character in the playing of the game,
and said second wild character indicia consisting of indicia means distinctly different from any conventional alphabet character, from said first wild character indicia or first wild character, and from any other indicia means that may be present in said game equipment;
said game rules comprising a first wild character rule, said first wild character rule permitting the use of a first wild character playing face or first wild character to be used in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of the game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word, or repeated otherwise in the playing of the game; and
said game rules further comprising a strict use Wild second wild character rule, said strict use second wild character rule permitting a second wild character playing face or second wild character to be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of the game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character selected from the group of conventional alphabet characters that are non-generically represented by playing faces of said game equipment, excepting any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word or that otherwise may be generically represented by a first wild character playing face or first wild character.
26. The game of claim 24, wherein the plurality of supplementary character playing faces is a combination of the third plurality of supplementary character playing faces with both the first and the second pluralities of supplementary character playing faces,
the indicia means born by each base character playing face and by each bonus character playing face further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numeral having conventionally a numerical value in the range of one to twenty, preferably one to fifteen, different numerals displayed and represented by different numerical point value indicia born by the base and the bonus character playing faces classifying the base and the bonus character playing faces into a plurality of groups, preferably four or more groups, the numerals displayed and represented by the numerical point value indicia born by the bonus character playing faces having numerical values distinctly higher than the numerals born by the base character playing faces; and
said game rules further comprising a score rule, whereby, in the calculation of a score in the playing of the game, in reference to a particular playing face, a base or a bonus character playing face counts as its face value of the numerical indicia, a first wild character playing face counting as ten points, a third wild character playing face counting as twenty points, and a Wild second character playing face counting as minus ten points.
27. A game for plaving by two to six preferably two to four players, said game comprising game equipment, and game steps, said game equipment comprising a plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces, preferably a plurality of fifty-two or so planar alphabet playing pieces, each of said planar alphabet playing pieces having a rear face indistinguishable from the rear faces of the other planar alphabet playing pieces and a front face bearing indicia means comprising character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters displayed and represented by the character indicia born by the plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces being suitable for construction and displaying of words of a predetermined or playable vocabulary of an alphabetic language, said game steps comprising the steps of, in combination:
grouping the players into two or more teams, each team consisting of one or more, preferably one or two players;
dealing out an even hand of twelve or so of the planar alphabet playing pieces to each player, or a common hand to the center of the playing table;
playing out, by each player, in a plurality of rounds, the hand dealt out to each player, or the common hand;
winning, by one or more of the players or teams, planar alphabet playing piece or pieces played out;
constructing, by each team, a word or words using the planar alphabet playing pieces each team won; and
determining a winner among the teams based on the planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by the teams, or assigning a score to each team based on the planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by each team.
28. The game of claim 27, wherein
the step of dealing out is the dealing out of an even hand of twelve or so of the planar alphabet playing pieces to each player;
the step of playing out being the playing out, by each player, in a plurality of rounds, of the even hand dealt out to each player, each player taking one turn to play out one playing niece in each round;
the step of winning planar alphabet playing piece or pieces played out consisting of collecting the playing pieces played out in each round, by player who first played out the highest ranked playing piece in said each round, the planar alphabet playing pieces played out in said each round being ranked in accordance with a ranking order substantially reflecting the alphabetic order of the alphabet characters represented by the alphabet character indicia of the planar alphabet playing pieces;
the step of constructing a word or words being the constructing, by each team, of a word or words out of the playing pieces player or players of each team collected from the playing of the plurality of trick talking rounds, at the end of the last round; and
the step of determining a winner or assigning a score comprising the steps of: (a.) counting the number of alphabet characters forming the word constructed by each team, or the number of planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by each team, and (b.) if the game is played in one deal, declaring the team with the highest number of alphabet characters forming the word or the highest number of planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words as the winner of the game, or if the game is played in a plurality of deals, assigning a score to each team, said score reflecting the number of alphabet characters forming the word constructed by the team or the number of planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by the team.
29. The game of claim 27, wherein
the step of dealing out is the dealing out of an even hand of twelve or so of the planar alphabet playing pieces to each player;
the indicia means born by each of the planar alphabet playing pieces of the game equipment further comprising numerical rank indicia, said numerical rank indicia displaying and representing a numeral having conventionally a numerical value in the range of one to twenty, preferably one to fifteen, different numerals displayed and represented by different numerical rank indicia born by the planar alphabet playing pieces classifying the planar alphabet playing pieces into a plurality of ranks, preferably six or more ranks, further preferably ten to fifteen ranks;
the step of playing out being the playing out, by each player, in a plurality of rounds, of the even hand dealt out to each player, each player taking one turn to play out one playing piece in each round;
the step of winning planar alphabet playing piece or pieces played out consisting of collecting the playing pieces played out each round, by player who first played out the highest ranked playing piece in said each round, the planar alphabet playing pieces played out in said each round being ranked in accordance with the numerical rank indicia of the planar alphabet playing pieces;
the step of constructing a word or words being the constructing, by each team, of a word or words out of the playing pieces each player or players of each team collected from the playing of the plurality of rounds, at the end of the last round; and
the step of determining a winner or assigning a score comprising the steps of: (a.) counting the number of alphabet characters forming the word constructed by each team, or the number of planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by each team, and (b.) if the game is played in one deal, declaring the team with the highest number of alphabet characters forming the word, or the highest number of planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words, as the winner of the game, or if the game is played in a plurality of deals, assigning a score to each team, said score reflecting the number of alphabet characters forming the word constructed by the team, or the number of planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by the team.
30. The game of claim 27 for playing by two to four players, wherein
the plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces is a deck of alphabet playing cards, the indicia means born by the playing face of each of the alphabet playing cards further comprising numerical point value indicia, said numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numeral having conventionally a numerical value in the range of one to twenty, preferably one to fifteen, different numerals displayed and represented by different numerical point value indicia born by the planar alphabet playing pieces classifying the planar alphabet playing pieces into a plurality of ranks, preferably six or more ranks, further preferably ten to fifteen ranks;
the step of dealing being the dealing out of a common hand of the alphabet playing cards to the center of the playing table, said common hand of the alphabet playing cards consisting of five to twelve of the alphabet playing cards per every player participating in the playing of the game, the alphabet playing cards of the common hand being arranged into a formation consisting of a partially overlapped pile for a two-player game, two or three partially overlapped piles for a three or four-player game, or a pyramid formation, following a substantially random order, each card facing up;
the step of playing out being the playing out of the common hand in a plurality of rounds, in each of said rounds each player taking a turn to pick up one, two, or three cards from the top of the pile or piles, or from the bottom of the pyramid formation, without disturbing the sequential order or orders of the pile or piles, or the pyramid formation, the exact number of the cards picked up being at the player's choice;
the step of winning planar alphabet playing piece or pieces consisting of collecting the cards picked up in each of said round by each player for said each player's team;
the step of constructing a word or words being the constructing of words by each team using some or all of the alphabet playing cards collected for said each team from the playing of the plurality of rounds, at the end of the last round;
the step of determining a winner or assigning a score being comprising the steps of: (a.) assigning a positive point, towards the score of a team, to each card used in the word or words constructed by the team, said positive point being preferably the face value of the numerical point value indicia of said each card or reflecting the face value of the numerical point value indicia of said each card, (b.) assigning a negative point towards the score of a team, to each card picked up but not used in constructing the words by the team, said negative point being preferably the negative of the face value of the numerical point value indicia of said each card picked up but not used, or reflecting the negative of the face value of the numerical point value indicia of said each card picked up but not used, (c.) summing up the positive points and the negative points for all of the cards picked up by each team and, if the game is played in a plurality of deals, assigning the net as the score for the playing of the deal to the team, or, if the game is played in a single deal, declaring the team with the highest net as the winner.
31. The game of claim 27 for playing by two to three players, wherein
the plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces is a deck of alphabet playing cards;
the step of dealing being the dealing out of a common hand, said common hand consisting of the entire deck of alphabet playing cards arranged into a plurality of partially overlapped piles, or into a pyramid formation, following a substantially random order, each card facing up;
the step of playing out being the playing out of the common hand, in a plurality of rounds in each of said rounds players taking turns to pick up any number of the alphabet playing cards, at the player's choice from the top of the piles, or from the bottom of the pyramid formation, without disturbing the sequential order of the cards in the piles or the pyramid formation;
the step of winning planar alphabet playing piece or pieces consisting of collecting the alphabet playing cards picked up by each player in each round for each player's team,
the step of constructing a word or words being the constructing of one word by each team using some or all of the cards collected for said each team from the playing of the plurality of rounds, at the end of the last round, the cards used in constructing the word becoming part of a score pile for said each team, any cards picked up but not used in constructing the word becoming part of a penalty pile for said each team;
the step of determining a winner or assigning a score being comprising the steps of (a.) counting the cards in the score pile for each team, (b.) counting the cards in the penalty pile for each team, (c.) subtracting the number of cards in the penalty pile from the number of cards in the score pile for a net number of cards for each team, and (c.) determining a winner or assigning a score based on the net number of cards for each team.
32. The game of claim 27, wherein the step of dealing out is the dealing out of an even hand of twelve or so of the planar alphabet playing pieces to each player, the steps of playing out the hand, wining planar alphabet playing piece or pieces played out, and constructing a word or words being played as a plurality of pseudo trick-taking rounds played in sequence, a said pseudo trick-taking round being a round of playing comprising the steps consisting of:
establishing an area at the center of the playing table for the formation of a pool;
leading the round as a normal round by playing out one planar alphabet playing piece, a twin round by playing out two planar alphabet playing pieces, or a triple round by playing out three planar alphabet playing pieces, by a player called the lead player for the round;
taking a turn, by each of the other players, to follow the leading, by playing oa same number of playing pieces out of the hand of said each of the other players, said same number being a number the same as the number of planar alphabet playing pieces played out by said lead player for the round;
ranking all of the playing pieces played out in the round in accordance with a predetermined ranking rule;
adding, to the pool, the planar alphabet playing pieces played out in the round, excepting the one highest ranked playing piece in a normal round, the two highest ranked playing pieces in a twin round, or the three highest ranked playing pieces in a triple round;
taking a right for the playing of a step of pseudo trick-taking by the player who played out the highest ranked playing piece, said step of pseudo trick-taking consisting of a step of winning some or all of the playing pieces in the pool and the highest ranked playing piece played out by the player, by forming a word using said some or all of the playing pieces in the pool and the highest ranked playing piece played out by the player; and
leaving any playing pieces that are not won in said pseudo trick-taking step in the pool, and adding to the pool the highest ranked playing piece played out by the player who played said step of pseudo trick-taking but failed to win the highest ranked playing piece the player played out, for pseudo trick-taking by a player taking a next right for pseudo trick-taking.
33. The game of claim 32, wherein
the game steps further comprising a step of naming a restriction on the number of playing pieces a player may play out in a pseudo trick-taking round, said restriction being preferably a member selected from the group consisting of: (a) normal, meaning each round has to be a normal round, (b.) twin, meaning each round has to be a twin round, (c.) triple, meaning each round has to be a triple round, and (d) mixed, meaning the plurality of pseudo trick-taking rounds in the playing: of the game may be a mixture of normal, twin, and triple rounds, said step of naming a restriction being played prior to the playing of said plurality of pseudo trick-taking rounds.
34. The game of claim 32, wherein
the step of leading the round being leading the round as a normal round; and
the game steps further comprising a step of naming a restriction on the length of the word that may be constructed in the step of pseudo trick-taking, said restriction being member selected from the group consisting of: (a) short, meaning the length of the word has to be five or less playing pieces, (b.) long, meaning the length of the word has to be six or more playing pieces, and (c.) free, meaning there is no restriction on the length of the word, said step of naming a restriction being played prior to the playing of said plurality of pseudo trick-taking rounds.
35. A game for playing by two to six preferably two to four players, said game comprising game equipment, and game steps, said game equipment comprising a plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces each having a rear face indistinguishable from the rear faces of the other planar alphabet playing pieces and a front face bearing indicia means comprising character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters displayed and represented by the character indicia born by the plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces being suitable for construction and displaying of words of a predetermined vocabulary of an alphabetic language, said game steps comprising the steps consisting of, in combination:
designating one of the players as a puzzle host player and each of the remaining player or players a puzzle solving player;
constructing, by said puzzle host player, a puzzle of secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence, of a sufficient character length, using a plurality of the planar alphabet playing pieces forming a plurality of puzzle alphabet playing pieces, said puzzle alphabet playing pieces being sufficient in number, preferably three or more per every puzzle solving player participating in the game;
arranging, by said puzzle host player, the puzzle alphabet playing pieces face down on the playing table into a formation that would display to the puzzle solving player or puzzle solving players, in the conventional reading and writing manner, the secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence, if the planar alphabet playing pieces were turned face up revealing the identity of the puzzle alphabet playing pieces to the puzzle solving player or puzzle solving players;
choosing, by a said puzzle solving player taking a turn, in one or more rounds, one of the puzzle alphabet playing pieces to be turned face up to reveal the identity of the puzzle alphabet playing piece, said choosing being played by way of said puzzle solving player pointing to or identifying the location of the puzzle alphabet playing piece chosen; and
guessing, by any of the puzzle solving player or puzzle solving players, the identity of the secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence.
36. The game of claim 35 wherein
the indicia means born by a substantial number of the puzzle alphabet playing pieces further comprising numerical point value indicia, the numerical point value indicia born by a puzzle alphabet playing piece representing and displaying a numeral, preferably a natural integer in the range of one to twenty, different numerical point value indicia classifying the puzzle alphabet playing pieces into different groups, preferably five or more different groups, puzzle alphabet playing pieces of different groups carrying different score or penalty points indicated by the numerical point value indicia born by, or lack thereof on, the puzzle alphabet playing pieces, in accordance with a pre-agreed game score rule;
said game steps further comprising a step of rewarding or penalizing a puzzle solving player, played immediately after each step of each puzzle solving player's taking a turn choosing a puzzle alphabet playing piece to be turned face up, the amount of said rewarding or penalizing, to said puzzle solving player taking the turn, being measured by the score or penalty points carried by the puzzle alphabet playing piece chosen to be turned face up by the puzzle solving player taking the turn.
37. A game for playing by two players, said game comprising game equipment and game steps, said game equipment comprising a plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces each having a rear face indistinguishable from the rear faces of the other planar alphabet playing pieces and a front face bearing indicia means comprising character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character, the alphabet characters displayed and represented by the character indicia born by the plurality of planar alphabet playing pieces being suitable for construction and displaying of words of a predetermined vocabulary of an alphabetic language, said game steps comprising the steps, in combination:
designating one of the two game players as a puzzle host player and the other a puzzle solving player;
constructing, by said puzzle host player, a puzzle of secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence using a plurality of the planar alphabet playing pieces forming a plurality of puzzle alphabet playing pieces;
arranging, by said puzzle host player, the puzzle alphabet playing pieces face down on the playing table into a formation that would display, to the puzzle solving player, in the conventional reading and writing manner, the secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence, if the puzzle alphabet playing pieces were turned face up revealing the identity of the puzzle alphabet playing pieces to the puzzle solving player;
selecting and holding in hand, by said puzzle host player, a plurality of three to ten, preferably four to seven, further preferably, seven, counters;
guessing, by said puzzle solving player, in one or a series of attempts, the identity of the secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence;
counting, by said puzzle host player, each attempt in which the puzzle solving player failed to guess correctly the identity of the secret word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence, by laying down one of the counters on the playing table; and
continuing the steps of guessing and counting, recycling the counters laid down by picking up the counters for re-use each time the entire plurality of counters are laid down, and turning one of the puzzle alphabet playing card face up to reveal the identity of the card each time the counters are recycled.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to game equipment and games. More particularly it relates to alphabet and numerical game equipment, alphabet and numerical games, word games and puzzles, and pseudo trick-taking games.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Alphabet game equipment comprising alphabet playing pieces, and alphabet games for amusement or educational purposes, are known in the prior art, with limitations and disadvantages. Also known in the prior art are numerical game equipment and numerical games.

The most well known and commercially the single most successful alphabet game equipment and alphabet game ever introduced is the tile based cross word board game equipment and game commercially sold first in 1948, later improved with features disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,752,158 to Brunot and Brunot (issued on Jun. 26, 1956), and currently sold in the United States under the trademark of SCRABBLE™. Commercially less successful alphabet game equipment in the playing card format and alphabet card games have been introduced, including the card game equipment and games currently sold under the trademark of QUIDDLER (™ SET Enterprises Inc), the card game equipment and games sold under the trademark of LETRAS (™ Grand Isle Games Inc), the card game equipment and games sold under the trademark of WORDTHIEF (™ Faby Games Inc), the card game equipment and games sold under the trademark of WORDMADNESS (™ The Perfect Game Co Inc), and the card game equipment and games sold under the trademark of ROYALTY (™ S J Miller Co Inc). There are a set of alphabet playing dices and dice games currently sold under the trademark of BOGGLE (™ Tonka Corp.), and a Rubik's cube toy under the trademark of Quble (™ Binkley & Associates). There are also alphabet flash cards, alphabet cubes, and magnetic alphabet letters that are primarily used as a teaching tool or children's toy, for teaching the alphabet or for playing word construction.

A number of US patents have disclosed alphabet game equipment designs and alphabet game inventions including designs of alphabet playing pieces and inventions of alphabet and word games. A comprehensive review of US patents dating back to 1918 on alphabet playing cards is provided in the BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION section of U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,212 to R. F. Hagedom (issued Jun. 30, 1988). More recent US patents on alphabet and word games include U.S. Pat. No. 6,276,940 to White (issued Aug. 21, 2001), U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,486 to Wallice (issued May 22, 2001), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,043 to Bitner (issued Jan. 26, 1999).

Limitations and disadvantages of alphabet game equipment of the prior art include one or more of the following: disadvantageous alphabet letter distribution, disadvantageous numerical indicia design or lack of numerical indicia necessary for certain games, an excessively large number of alphabet playing pieces, and limited playability in general, as further cited below.

Alphabet letter distribution is irregular in alphabet game equipment of the prior art in most cases, characterized by irregularly different numbers of replicate playing pieces for different alphabet letters in a set of the game equipment. The difference in the number of replicate playing pieces for different alphabet letters is substantially based on the difference in the relative frequencies of occurrence of the alphabet letters in the words of the alphabetic language. For example, the English version of the well known SCRABBLE™ board game equipment has one hundred or so alphabet playing tiles which include widely and irregularly different numbers of replicate tiles for different alphabet letters ranging from one tile for each of the less frequently occurring letters “Q”, “Z”, “X”, up to twelve tiles for the more frequently occurring letter “E”. The alphabet letter distribution is so complicated that a table listing the number of replicate playing pieces for each alphabet letter is needed for reference in tracking the game playing pieces during the playing of a game. Other alphabet game equipment of the prior art having irregular alphabet letter distributions similar to the SCRABBLE™ playing tiles include the commercial QUIDDLER™, WORDMADNESS™, and ROYALTY™ card game equipment, the cards in U.S. Pat. No. 6,276,940, U.S. Pat. No. 5,199,714, U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,996, U.S. Pat. No. 4,826,175, the dices in U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,094 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,055,348, and the Rubik's cube of the commercial Quble™ toy. Alphabet game equipment having irregular alphabet letter distributions suffers a common disadvantage of being difficult to familiarize with, difficult to memorize, and difficult for playing piece tracking during the playing of a game. An irregular alphabet letter distribution renders a set of alphabet playing pieces difficult or impossible to use in the playing of games that require classification or grouping of playing pieces other than grouping by formation of words.

Alphabet game equipment of the prior art suffers from disadvantageous numerical indicia designs or lack of numerical indicia. In some alphabet game equipment of the prior art, numerical indicia of irregular value designs based on the frequencies of occurrence of the alphabet letters in the words of a playable vocabulary of an alphabetic language are put on the playing faces of the alphabet playing pieces to assign point values to the alphabet playing pieces for score calculation purposes. In other alphabet game equipment of the prior art, there are no numerical indicia on the alphabet playing pieces. Some of the latest prior art patents consider the presence of numerical indicia on the alphabet playing pieces a disadvantage (see, e.g., the Wall ice May 22, 2001 patent).

For example, the commercial QUIDDLER™ game equipment has the following irregular numerical indicia designs coupled with the following irregular alphabet letter distribution: (in the list below, for each letter, the first numeral following an alphabet letter denotes the numerical point value indicia of the playing piece displaying that letter, the second numeral in parenthesis denotes the number of replicate playing pieces in the set of the game equipment for that letter) A-2(10), B-8(2), C-8(2), D-5(4), E-2(12), F-6(2), G-6(4), H-7(2), I-2(8), J-13(2), K-8(2), L-3(4), M-5(2), N-5(6), O-2(8), P-6(2), Q-15(2), R-5(6), S-3(4), T-3(6), U-4(6), V-11(2), W-10(2), X-12(2), Y-4(4), Z-14(2), QU-9(2), IN-7(2), ER-7(2), CL-10(2), and TH-9(2). Other alphabet game equipment of the prior art having irregular numerical point value indicia designs include the well known SCRABBLE™ board game equipment, the commercial card game equipment sold under WORDMADNESS™, WORD THIEF™, and ROYALTY™, and the cards in U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,043, U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,996, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,826,175.

Disadvantages associated with irregular numerical point value indicia designs of the alphabet game equipment of the prior art include: (a.) being difficult to familiarize and to memorize (b.) being difficult or impossible to use as melding indicia, i.e., indicia based on which a meld may be formed or playing pieces may be classified or grouped, for the purpose of playing an interesting game, (c.) being inconvenient or impossible to use for certain advanced ways of numerical point value indicia based score calculation or ranking, and (d.) being less adapted to or impossible for the playing of numerical games.

Alphabet game equipment of the prior art having no numerical point value indicia designs include the cards in U.S. Pat. No. 6,276,940, U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,486, U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,043, U.S. Pat. No. 5,524,899, U.S. Pat. No. 5,417,432, U.S. Pat. No. 5,199,714, U.S. Pat. No. 4,234,189, and the dices in U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,094 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,055,348. Such equipment fail to provide the advantages and utilities of numerical point value indicia, or the advantages and utilities that a set of game equipment having numerical point value indicia may provide, such as the allowing of numerical games and numerical point value based score calculations and ranking.

Several US patents disclose attempts to develop alphabet game equipment having more regular alphabet letter distributions. The attempts were not successful because they aimed at improving the game equipment of the prior art on some aspects while failing to maintain the advantages on other aspects, in many cases introducing significant disadvantages of their own.

For example. U.S. Pat. No. 6,234,486 to Wallice (isued May 22, 2001), U.S. Pat. No. 5,772,212 to Hagedorn (issued Jun. 30, 1998), U.S. Pat. No. 5,639,094 to Manchester (issued Jun. 17, 1997), U.S. Pat. No. 5,417,432 (issued May 23, 1995), and U.S. Pat. No. 4,234,189 (issued Nov. 18, 1980) disclose alphabet game equipment having an alphabet letter distribution characterized by two of each of the twenty six (26) English alphabet letters. U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,043 to Bitner (issued Jan. 26, 1999) discloses a deck of cards having an alphabet letter distribution characterized by four of each of the twenty six (26) English alphabet letters. U.S. Pat. No. 4,428,582 discloses a deck of alphabet playing cards having an alphabet letter distribution characterized by five of each of the twenty six (26) English alphabet letters. While these prior art disclosures introduced alphabet game equipment having regular alphabet letter distributions easier to familiarize with and track during the playing of a game, a significant disadvantage is also introduced, namely, that, in construction of words from the alphabet playing pieces, often some letters that are more frequently used in the words of the alphabetic language, or occur repeated multiple times in a word, have an insufficient number of playing pieces while for less frequently used alphabet letters there are often excessive numbers of redundant playing pieces in the set of the game equipment.

The number of alphabet playing pieces in alphabet game equipment of the prior art in most instances is excessively large, typically one hundred or more. The large number of alphabet playing pieces results from the necessity to provide a sufficient number of replicate alphabet playing pieces for certain alphabet letters used frequently in the alphabetic language or that occur repeated multiple times in a word. The large number of playing pieces adds to the burden of playing piece tracking in the playing of a game. In the playing card format, the large number of cards cannot fit into a pack of handy, conventional playing card pack size familiar to many game players, and of lower cost to produce.

On the other hand, alphabet game equipment of the prior art that has less alphabet playing pieces, such as the commercial ROYALTY™ game equipment, and the game equipment of the Wallice patent (May 22, 2001), the Hagedorn patent (Jun. 30, 1998), and the Manchester patent (Jun. 17, 1997), and other game equipment having fifty or so playing pieces or playing faces, suffers from the disadvantage of having an insufficient number of replicate alphabet playing pieces for the playing of certain games involving construction of words requiring a greater number of replicate alphabet letters.

A deck of alphabet playing cards currently marketed commercially under the trade name of TRIVIRSTITY™ has a more regular numerical indicia design, with the numbers “5”, “10”, “15”, and “20” as the only numbers used for numerical point values. The letter distribution of the TRIVERSITY™ is irregular, and the number of cards in the deck is large.

In general, the prior art offers or discloses only a limited number of alphabet and word games, often specific to a given set of prior art alphabet game equipment and a given design of alphabet playing pieces. For example, the SCPABBLE™ board game offers only one way of playing a game, namely, that of playing a crossword board game with its alphabet playing tiles and a grid game board. Games offered or disclosed by prior art for playing with alphabet playing cards are limited to, mostly, one or a few fomms of rummy type of games (e.g., LETRAS™, WORDMADNESS™, WORD THIEF™, QUIDDLER™, and ROYALTY™, U.S. Pat. No. 6,276,940 White Aug. 21, 2001, U.S. Pat. No. 5,863,043 Bitner Jan. 26, 1999), and in some cases solitary games (e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 5,199,714 and QUIDDLER™), and show down type of games (e.g. QUIDDLER™ Word Poker game). The prior art has not offered a comprehensive array of games remotely comparable to the vast number of games possible with the traditional deck of playing cards.

Known in the prior art is a popular type of card games called trick-taking games that are traditionally played with the traditional deck of playing cards. Trick-taking games represent a major part of the extremely large number of games possible with the traditional deck of playing cards, including such well-known and popular games as Bridge. Heretofore, no trick-taking types of games of sufficient success have been developed for playing with alphabet and words of an alphabetic language using alphabet playing cards or playing pieces.

A number of numerical games played with the traditional deck of playing cards, and numerical cards without the suit indicia designations or with alternate suit indicia designation designs, are known in the prior art.

The traditional deck of playing cards is, of course, of little value for alphabet and word based games. Although attempts have been made to include alphabet characters on the playing faces of the traditional deck of playing cards (e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 1,012,574 Adams Dec. 26, 1911), for the purpose of extending the range of games playable with the traditional deck of playing cards to include alphabet and word games, heretofore such attempts have largely failed to attain the desired objects and failed to reach any stage of substantial commercial success.

Another limitation of the traditional deck of playing cards is its history of association with gambling and casino games disliked by many who are interested in the cards only for recreational or educational purposes.

A further limitation of the traditional deck of playing cards is its specialized face design that is less understandable or appealing to children and that is less adapted to the playing of educational games or games having an educational theme.

Pseudo trick-taking games, of the present invention, disclosed herein, are not known in the prior art.

Neither known are playing card based alphabet and word puzzle games of the present invention, although known in the prior art is a popular TV game show called Wheel of Fortune™ (Califon Productions Inc) in which word, phrase or sentence puzzles are constructed from alphabet letters and solved by a plurality of competing puzzle solver players. The Wheel of Fortune™ TV game show is, of course, characterized by a Wheel of Fortune as a chance means for determining the amount of reward or penalty a player receives at a turn during the playing of a game. In the Wheel of Fortune™ TV game show, a puzzle solver player calls out an alphabet letter at his/her turn in an attempt to reveal one or more alphabet playing pieces composing the secret puzzle. A home game version of the elaborate TV Wheel of Fortune™ game show has been developed and sold under the same trademark. The home game version, essentially a reduced scale of the TV game show, includes a simply made Wheel, a simply made puzzle stand, and pre-printed puzzle sheets. The home game version of the TV Wheel of Fortune™ game fails to inherit the significant advantages of the elaborate TV game show, while retaining much of the complications of the TV game show settings, which is a significant disadvantage for a home game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

1. Objects of the Invention

Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide game equipment that is new and more adapted to the playing of alphabet, word, and numerical games than the game equipment of the prior art.

Another object of the invention is to provide game equipment that comprises new and useful indicia designs for playing faces and that has a new and more useful composition of playing pieces or playing faces.

A specific object of the invention is to provide game equipment that comprises alphabet playing pieces or playing faces having new and useful alphabet character indicia designs and a new and useful alphabet character distribution.

Another specific object of the invention is to provide game equipment that comprises alphabet playing faces having new and advantageous numerical point value indicia designs.

A further object of the invention is to provide game equipment that comprises playing faces having a combination of new and useful alphabet character indicia designs and new and advantageous numerical point value indicia designs.

Another object of the invention is to provide alphabet game equipment conforming to a standard that may be implemented for, or across, different alphabetic languages.

Still another object of the invention is to provide game equipment that comprises playing faces having alphabet character and numerical indicia designs that allow formation of melds in novel or a greater number of ways during the playing of a game.

A still further object of the invention is to provide game equipment comprising playing faces having alphabet character and numerical indicia designs that allow new and useful, or more convenient, ways of ranking the playing pieces or playing faces in the playing of a game.

A yet further object of the invention is to provide game equipment comprising playing faces having alphabet character and numerical indicia designs that allow new and useful, or more convenient, ways of scoring in a game.

A still further object of the invention is to provide game equipment that has a handy number of alphabet playing pieces but offers greater playability, including greater playability with words containing an alphabet letter or letters repeated multiple times, the ability to play alphabet and word as well as numerical games, and the ability to play an extended range of other games.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide new and useful alphabet compendium games, and alphabet and word puzzle games, to be played with the alphabet game equipment of the present invention or with other alphabet game equipment.

A specific object of the invention is to provide new and useful alphabet compendium games including alphabet trick-taking games, pseudo trick-taking games, and alphabet Wood Picker games.

A further specific object of the invention is to provide new and useful alphabet and word puzzle games including a Table Puzzle game and a Seven Lives game.

The terms “playing face”, “planar playing piece” or “planar alphabet playing piece”, “alphabet character”, “character”, “double decking”, “multi-decking”, “alphabet trick-taking” game, “pseudo trick-taking” game, “Wood Picker” game, “Table Puzzle” game, and “Seven Lives” game are defined in the Detailed Description of the Invention and its Preferred Embodiments section of this patent document.

Other objects will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.

2. Features and Advantages

The present invention, accordingly, comprises the design of novel and useful alphabet and numerical game equipment and games, embodying features of construction of playing faces, combination of elements in the construction of the playing faces, combination or composition of playing faces for the construction of a set of the game equipment, game rules including meld rules, rank rules, and score rules, and game steps including game steps for playing a significantly extended range of alphabet and numerical games, all as exemplified in the following disclosure, and the scope of the present invention will be indicated in the claims appended hereto.

In accordance with a principal feature of the present invention, there is provided a set of alphabet game equipment having playing faces bearing indicia means comprising alphabet character indicia displaying and representing alphabet characters of a novel alphabet character distribution. The novel alphabet character distribution consists essentially of, in combination, a plurality of base characters and a plurality, or a combination of pluralities, of supplementary characters, a said plurality of supplementary characters being a member selected from the group consisting of a plurality of Repeat characters, a plurality of bonus characters, and a plurality of Wild characters and Super Wild characters in combination.

In accordance with a principal feature of the present invention, Repeat characters are created in the present invention as part of the game equipment for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word, or otherwise repeated in the playing of a game. A plurality of Repeat character playing faces may be combined, in the playing of a game, to form melds of Repeat characters. A Repeat character playing face may also combine with another or other playing faces of other character types such as a Wild character playing face to form other types of melds.

In accordance with another principal feature of the present invention, the plurality of base characters consists of at least one each of the standard alphabet letters, and a selected number of non-standard alphabet characters, that are used in writing an alphabetic language or that occur in words of a playable vocabulary of the alphabetic language, and the plurality of bonus characters comprises an additional copy or copies of certain members of the base characters that most commonly occur repeated or most frequently occur in words of the playable vocabulary, the bonus character playing faces being distinguished from the base character playing faces by way of distinction indicia means on the playing faces. One of such distinction indicia means is numerical point value indicia that distinguish the bonus character playing faces from the base character playing faces by way of a different, e.g., higher, numerical point value or values than the base character playing faces. Another or further such distinction indicia means, for a set of the game equipment in the playing card format, is additional ornamentation, such as pictorial or background ornamentation, on the bonus character playing faces but not, or different on, the base character playing faces. During the playing of a game, a bonus character playing face may be assigned a different score point, a different rank, or otherwise treated differently or more specially than a base character playing face bearing a same character as the bonus character playing face. Bonus character playing faces may be combined to form bonus character melds.

In accordance with yet another principal feature of the present invention, Wild character playing faces in combination with Repeat character playing faces may be present in a set of the game equipment of the present invention and used in the playing of a game in accordance with a novel “strict use Wild character rule”. In accordance with the novel strict use Wild character rule, a Wild character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character found in the set of conventional alphabet characters (hereinafter sometimes referred to as the game characters or the game character set) represented, non-generically, by the alphabet character indicia of the playing faces of the game equipment, but not an alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word or that otherwise may be represented by a Repeat character playing face in the playing of the game.

In accordance with still another principal feature of the present invention, Super Wild character playing faces in combination with Wild character playing faces may be present in a set of the game equipment of the present invention and used in the playing of a game in accordance with a novel “broad use” or a novel “strict use Super Wild character rules”. The broad use Super Wild character rule permits use of a Super Wild character playing face to represent, generically, any alphabet character, whether present or not present in the game character set. The strict use Super Wild character rule permits use of a Super Wild character playing face to generically represent only an alphabet character or writing symbol that is not found in the game character set.

In accordance with a further principal feature of the present invention, there is provided a set of alphabet game equipment comprising a preferred combination of the Repeat character playing faces, the Wild character playing faces, and the Super Wild character playing faces. In a preferred mode, the set of game equipment comprises four or five Repeat character playing faces, a same number of Wild character playing faces as the number of the Repeat character playing faces, and two to four, preferably two, Super Wild character playing faces.

In accordance with a yet further principal feature of the present invention, there is provided a set of alphabet and numerical game equipment which includes a plurality of fifty-two or more playing faces. Of the fifty-two or more playing faces, fifty-two playing faces form a set of core equipment playing faces. Of the core equipment playing faces, twenty-eight to thirty-six, preferably thirty or thirty-two, playing faces are core equipment base character playing faces, twelve or so bonus character playing faces, four or five Repeat character playing faces, and four or five Wild character playing faces. The Wild character playing faces form one group or rank. The Repeat character playing faces form another rank. The base character playing faces and the bonus character playing faces form additional ranks each rank consisting of a same number of base and/or bonus character playing faces.

In accordance with a preferred mode of the invention (first standard mode), there are four each of the Repeat and the Wild character playing faces in the core equipment, and the fifty-two core equipment playing faces are divided into thirteen ranks each rank consisting of four playing faces.

In accordance with another preferred mode, there are five each of the Repeat and the Wild character playing faces in the core equipment, thirty core equipment base character playing faces divided into five ranks each rank consisting of six core equipment base character playing faces, and twelve bonus character playing faces divided into two ranks each rank consisting of six bonus character playing faces.

In accordance with yet another preferred mode, there are five each of the Repeat and the Wild character playing faces in the core equipment, thirty core equipment base character playing faces divided into three ranks each rank consisting of ten core equipment playing faces, and twelve bonus character playing faces divided into two ranks each rank consisting of six bonus character playing faces.

The base or bonus character playing faces of a same rank bear numerical point value or rank indicia displaying and representing a same numerical point or rank value different from the base or bonus character playing faces of a different rank. The numerical point or rank values displayed and represented by the numerical point value or rank indicia of the base character playing faces form a numerical series substantially regular in the progression. Additional, non-core playing faces, bearing additional or extended characters, for languages having an excessive number of alphabet characters over the standard number of the core equipment characters, may be present in the game equipment as extended character playing faces.

In accordance with a principal feature of the present invention, a set of the game equipment of the present invention, constructed in a preferred mode and in a convenient playing piece format, may be used to play a significantly extended range of alphabet, word, numerical and other types of games.

In accordance with another principal feature of the present invention, there are provided new and useful alphabet compendium games to be played with the game equipment of certain embodiments of the present invention, such as a set of the game equipment comprising planner alphabet playing pieces conforming to the first standard mode, or other alphabet game equipment comprising planner alphabet playing pieces, preferably a plurality of fifty-two or so, ranked planar alphabet playing pieces.

In certain embodiments of the alphabet compendium games of the invention, an even hand of playing pieces, preferably twelve or so in number, is dealt out to each player. Players play out the hands (the deal) and win playing pieces played out, in a manner adapted from the traditional trick-taking games of the traditional playing cards, or in a novel manner (pseudo trick-taking). However, a player or a team of players can only win a game or score points by successfully constructing a word or words out of the playing pieces won.

In other embodiments of the alphabet compendium games of the present invention played with a deck of alphabet playing cards, a common hand is dealt out to the center of the playing table and players taking turns in a plurality of rounds pick up playing cards from the common hand. Again, a player or a team of players can only win a game or score points by successfully constructing a word or words out of the playing cards picked up.

In accordance with yet another principal feature of the present invention, there are provided new and useful alphabet puzzle games to be played with the game equipment of the present invention in a planner playing piece format, or other alphabet game equipment in a planner playing piece format.

One of such alphabet puzzle games is the Table Puzzle game of the present invention, which shares certain desirable features and advantages with the Wheel of Fortune™ TV game, and also has its own new features and advantages. One of its own new features is a feature characterized by a puzzle solving player taking a turn choosing a puzzle playing piece, among the puzzle playing pieces forming the puzzle of a word, phrase, cross-word grid, or sentence, and requesting the puzzle host player to turn the piece face up to reveal the character displayed by the piece. The choosing is played by way of the puzzle solving player pointing to or identifying the location of the puzzle playing piece he/she chooses, rather than by guessing and calling out an alphabet letter. Another of the new features of the Table Puzzle game of the present invention is the use of numerical point value indicia on playing faces, revealed as the playing faces are turned up in the playing of the game, to determine the amount of reward or penalty a player taking a turn revealing a playing face receives, rather than the use of a Wheel. The advantages of the Table Puzzle game of the present invention include that of a much simpler game set up, which makes the game of the present invention much more convenient to play at home and in other informal settings.

Another of such alphabet puzzle games is the Seven Lives game, in which a plurality of alphabet playing cards are used to play a word, phrase, cross-word grid, or short sentence puzzle, by two game players, in accordance with certain advantageous game steps.

For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the present invention, and other features and advantages, reference should be had to the following detailed description of the invention and its preferred embodiments, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a plurality of playing cards, illustrating by way of example playing faces of playing cards bearing indicia means constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, and illustrating formation of certain melds in accordance with certain preferred embodiments of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a tabular list of indicia designations for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention, constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment, for playing games with the alphabet and words of the English language and for playing other games;

FIG. 3 a is a perspective view of a playing block, constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the playing face of a playing block bearing indicia means displaying an indicia designation taken from the list of indicia designations shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 b is a perspective view of a playing tile, constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the playing face of a playing tile bearing indicia means displaying an indicia designation taken from the list of indicia designations shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 c is a perspective view of a playing chip, constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating the playing face of a playing chip bearing indicia means displaying an indicia designation taken from the list of indicia designations shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 d is a perspective view of a playing dice, constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention, illustrating a playing face and other faces bearing indicia means displaying indicia designations taken from the list of indicia designations shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a tabular list of indicia designations for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention, constructed in accordance with another preferred embodiment, for playing games with the alphabet and words of the English language and for playing other games;

FIG. 5 is a tabular list of indicia designations for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention, constructed in accordance with yet another preferred embodiment, for playing games with the alphabet and words of the English language and for playing other games;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a game set up for playing an alphabet pseudo trick-taking game using alphabet playing blocks, played in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the alphabet pseudo trick-taking game of the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a top plan view of an arrangement of the cards of a common hand dealt out in the playing of a Wood Picker game, played by two game players in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the Wood Picker game of the present invention;

FIG. 8 a is a top plan view of a game set up for a Table Puzzle game of the present invention, played by four game players in accordance with a preferred embodiment, the view including a plurality of cards forming a sentence puzzle at one time point of the game;

FIG. 8 b is a top plan view of the game set up shown in FIG. 8 a when all of the cards are turned face up revealing answer to the puzzle of the Table Puzzle game.

The various expressions of indicia shown in the drawings, the collection of the character and the numerical indicia shown in FIGS. 2, 4, and 5, and the printed matter on the playing faces illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 a to 3 d, 6, 7, 8 a and 8 b, are subject to copyright protection.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION AND ITS PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Embodiments of the invention fall into several classes, each of which classes is designated herein by a Roman numeral, as in, for example, the expression “class (I) embodiment”, or its plural form, “class (I) embodiments”. A particular embodiment in each such class may be further designated herein by an Arabic numeral. Thus, a particular embodiment of the present invention may be designated herein by the Roman numeral designating the class of embodiments of which it is a member, followed by its membership number in that class in Arabic numeral contained in parentheses, e.g., “I(2) embodiment” meaning the second member of the class (I) embodiments.

The First Class (I) of Preferred Embodiments

The first class of preferred embodiments of the present invention, or class (I) preferred embodiments, as described herein, disclose in detail and by way of example the various manners and modes of construction of the game equipment of the present invention, including the design of the novel and more useful indicia means and indicia designations for playing faces and the composition of playing pieces or playing faces for a set of the game equipment, and illustrate, by way of example and references, the advantageous play of certain known alphabet, word, and numerical games, and certain new twists in the play of the alphabet, word, and numerical games, with the game equipment of the present invention, over the game equipment of the prior art.

The term “playing face”, as used herein, denotes a generally flat surface of a playing piece, which flat surface bears indicia means displaying an indicia designation, and which flat surface may be freely amenable to combinations and re-combinations with another playing face or other playing faces for the formation of melds during the playing of a game. In the known manner, a playing piece in the playing card, the playing tile, the playing block, or the playing chip format has one playing face, sometimes called herein “the front face”, that bears the indicia means. The remaining parts of a playing piece in any of those formats, i.e., the back and the sides of the playing piece in those formats, are collectively called “the rear face” of the playing piece. The rear face is typically identical among the playing pieces of a given format in a given set of the game equipment. A playing piece in the playing card, the playing tile, the playing block, the playing chip, or another playing piece format, that is characterized by a generally thin or planar shape or body, and by a front face and a rear face, is sometimes generically called a “planar playing piece” or “planar alphabet playing piece” in the present patent document. A six-sided dice or cube has six flat surfaces, one on each side, each of which flat surfaces, or side faces, bears indicia means displaying an indicia designation, and one of which flat surfaces at a time, i.e., the top side face of the dice upon its landing on the table in the playing of a multi-dice game, is a playing face amenable to combination and re-combination with a playing face or playing faces from another dice or other dices. A multi-sided dice has multiple flat surfaces, one on each side, one of which at a time in the playing of a game is a playing face. A Rubik's cube has a plurality of sides each of which has a plurality of movable flat surfaces which flat surfaces may be playing faces amendable for combination and re-combination with another or other playing faces during the playing of a game. An electronic representation of a playing piece or playing face may be a pictorial representation of the playing piece or the playing face in a physical format, or the playing face's indicia means only, or an abstract representation of the indicia designation of the playing face, for a gaming purpose.

The game equipment of the present invention is characterized by a basic feature of construction. In accordance with said basic feature of construction, a set of the game equipment of the present invention has a plurality of playing faces, each bearing indicia means comprising character indicia displaying and representing an alphabet character suitable for use for a gaming purpose. The plurality of playing faces consists essentially of a preferred combination of a plurality of base character playing faces and a plurality of supplementary character playing faces. Said supplementary character playing faces as a group or a plurality of groups distinctly differ from said base character playing faces as another group or another plurality of groups. Said supplementary character playing faces comprises at least one of three preferred groups of supplementary character playing faces, which three preferred groups of supplementary character playing faces, and the base character playing faces, are described in detail below.

The term “alphabet letter”, as used herein, denotes either a single letter alphabet character or a combination alphabet character. A single letter alphabet character (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “single letter”, in short) is an alphabet character that consists of, or may be written as, a single alphabet letter symbol, e.g., the single letter “E” in the English language. A combination alphabet character is an alphabet character consisting of a certain combination of single letter alphabet characters, most commonly double letter combinations (hereinafter sometimes referred to as “double letter alphabet characters”, or “double letters” in short), e.g., the double letters “ER” and “EA” in the English language. In the known manner, words in an alphabetic language are made from certain combinations of alphabet letters placed side by side, or vertically, in a certain order.

In the known manner, a single letter or a combination alphabet character in an alphabetic language is often associated with a specific speech sound or sounds. A single letter or a combination alphabet character associated with a consonant sound is called a “consonant” or “consonant character” herein. A single letter or a combination alphabet character associated with a vowel sound is called a “vowel” or a “vowel character” herein. A single letter or a combination alphabet character associated sometimes with a vowel sound and other times a consonant sound is sometimes called a vowel, other times a consonant, and may be referred to, generally, as a “dual alphabet character” in the present patent document. In the known manner, words are typically made from a combination of consonant or consonants and vowel or vowels.

The term “standard alphabet” as used herein has its conventional meaning, i.e., the collection of alphabet characters officially recognized as the standard alphabet of an alphabetic language. The word “standard”, when used herein as a qualifier in front of one of the terms “alphabet character”, “single letter”, “double letter”, “vowel”, and “consonant”, denotes a member, having a respective character type defined by said one of the terms, of the standard alphabet. Standard alphabet characters are mostly single letters in most major modern alphabetic languages, and in some alphabetic languages, may include double letter alphabet characters, such as the double letter “LL” and “RR” in the Spanish language.

The word “non-standard”, when used herein as a qualifier in front of one of the terms “alphabet character”, “single letter”, “double letter”, “vowel”, and “consonant”, denotes an alphabet character, having a respective character type defined by said one of the terms, not part of the standard alphabet.

As is well known, major contemporary alphabetic languages in the world such as those of European origins have less than forty standard alphabet characters, most commonly thirty or so alphabet characters in the standard alphabet. For example, the contemporary English and the contemporary French languages each have the same twenty six single letters in the standard alphabet, the Spanish has twenty eight single letters and the two standard double letter alphabet characters mentioned above, the German language twenty nine single letters, the Russian thirty three or so, and the Greek twenty four single letters. Each of the languages has many non-standard, double letter alphabet characters, of varying degrees of usage in the language.

As is also well known, the standard alphabet of the major contemporary alphabetic languages consists of thirteen or more consonant characters and five or more vowel characters. For example, the twenty six single letters of the English standard alphabet consists of five vowel letters (that is, “A”, “E”, “I”, “O”, “U”), twenty consonant letters, and the letter “Y” which is sometimes a vowel letter and other times a consonant letter, i.e., a dual alphabet character. As is known, single letter vowel characters are typically among the most frequently occurring alphabet characters in the words of the major contemporary alphabetic languages of European origins.

The plurality of base character playing faces in a set of the game equipment of the present invention consists of twenty-four or more base character playing faces. A base character playing face is a playing face bearing character indicia displaying and representing a base character. A base character is an alphabet character selected from a group of alphabet characters forming a plurality of base characters. The plurality of base characters includes at least one each of the standard alphabet letters, and may include a selected number of non-standard alphabet characters, that are used conventionally in writing an alphabetic language or that occur in words of a sufficiently large, or playable, vocabulary of the alphabetic language. In a preferred manner, the plurality of base characters consists of one each of the alphabet letters of the entire standard alphabet of an alphabetic language and one each of a selected number of non-standard alphabet characters of the alphabetic language. The non-standard alphabet characters are included in the plurality of base characters so that a desirable total number of base character playing faces may be constructed for a set of the game equipment.

In accordance with a class (I) embodiment of the present invention hereinafter sometimes referred to as the I(1) embodiment, the supplementary character playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprises a preferred group of supplementary character playing faces consisting of a plurality of Repeat character playing faces. A Repeat character playing face is a playing face bearing character indicia representing a Repeat character. A Repeat character is a special character created in the present invention for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, to generically represent any alphabet character that is occurring the second time, or the third, the fourth, and so on, i.e., repeated, in the word, or repeated otherwise in the playing of the game. A plurality of the Repeat character playing faces may also have uses in the playing of a game as a meld of Repeat character playing faces, as well as other uses specified elsewhere in the present disclosure or apparent to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure.

Repeat character indicia, or a Repeat character, may consist of any symbol, word or words, or a combination thereof, suitable for use in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game as a generic representation of any alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word, or repeated otherwise in the playing of the game, said symbol, word or words, or a combination thereof being distinctly different from any of the conventional alphabet characters and from any other indicia means of the game equipment.

One or more, preferably four or more, Repeat character playing faces may be included in a set of the game equipment of the present invention.

In accordance with another class (I) embodiment of the present invention hereinafter sometimes referred to as the I(2) embodiment, the supplementary character playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprises a preferred group of supplementary character playing faces consisting of a plurality of eight to sixteen, preferably twelve bonus character playing faces. A bonus character playing face is a playing face bearing character indicia displaying and representing a bonus character. A bonus character is an alphabet character selected from a group of alphabet characters forming a plurality of bonus characters. All or a substantial number of the bonus characters is a sub-set of the plurality of base characters of the game equipment, preferably a sub-set of the base characters that often occur in repeated manners in, or are most frequently used in construction of, the words of the playable vocabulary of the alphabetic language, and that further have special cultural significance, lexicon significance, or, preferably, both, in the alphabetic language. Bonus character indicia are printed on or inscribed in, a bonus character playing face, which distinctly differs from a base character playing face, including a base character playing face bearing character indicia representing a same alphabet character as the bonus character playing face, by means of difference or differences in the base and the bonus character indicia, or difference in further indicia means on the base and the bonus character playing faces.

In a manner adopted from the tradition, the bonus character playing faces in a set of the game equipment of the present invention may be used to supplement the base character playing faces in constructing words, including words that require more than one copy of certain alphabet character or alphabet characters, in the playing of a game.

In an inventive manner, which is a principal feature of the present invention in accordance with the present I(2) embodiment, the bonus character playing faces form a group or a plurality of groups on their own, different from any other types of playing faces of the set of the game equipment, including, particularly, the base character playing faces that bear character indicia representing alphabet characters the same as the bonus character playing faces. The group difference or differences are intended for uses in enhancing the playability of the set of the game equipment, such as to allow more advanced and easier classification of the playing faces, easier playing face tracking, and to put an emphasis on the cultural and linguistic significance of the alphabet characters used as the bonus characters. One of said uses of the group difference or differences is the allowing of a bonus character rule or rules in the playing of a game. One of said bonus character rules permits a score or a rank assigned to a bonus character playing face to be different from, e.g., higher than, a score or a rank assigned to a base character playing face bearing a same alphabet character as the bonus character playing face. Another of said bonus character rules permits pluralities of bonus character playing faces to be melded to form certain special melds of certain special point values or ranks, or otherwise treated specially in the playing of a game. Such bonus character rules impart the emphasis, often of significant educational values, on the alphabet characters used as the bonus characters. The plurality of the bonus character playing faces of the present invention differs from a second, or an additional, full set of standard alphabet character playing faces found in certain prior art alphabet game equipment, in that only a selected sub-set of alphabet characters that have the special cultural and linguistic significance, rather than a full set of the standard alphabet characters, are used as the bonus characters.

In a preferred mode of the I(2) embodiment of the present invention, each of the base and bonus character playing faces in a set of the game equipment of the present invention further bears numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a numerical point value. Different numerical point value indicia or numerical point values born by the base and bonus character playing faces classify the base and bonus character playing faces into different groups of playing faces. The numerical point value or values of the bonus character playing faces are distinctly higher than the numerical point value or values of the base character playing faces. The distinctly higher numerical point value or values of the bonus character playing faces serve as the means or one of the means to distinguish the bonus character playing faces as a group or a plurality of groups from the base character playing faces as another group or another plurality of groups.

Wild characters may be used as character indicia on playing faces of the game equipment of the present invention for use in a known manner, i.e., as wild representation of any alphabet character in forming words in the playing of a game. The use of the Wild characters in the known manner is hereinafter sometimes referred to as a “broad use of the Wild characters”, or said to have followed a “broad use Wild character rule”.

In accordance with a preferred class (I) embodiment of the present invention, Wild characters are included in a set of the game equipment of the present invention in combination with Repeat characters constructed in accordance with the I(1) embodiment of the present invention (hereinafter referred to as I(1) Repeat characters, or, simply, Repeat characters) described hereinabove. In a novel use in accordance with a “strict use Wild character rule”, which is a principal feature of the present invention, a Wild character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, to generically represent any alphabet character of the game character set but not an alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word or that otherwise may be generically represented by a Repeat character playing face.

Preferably, the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprise four to six Repeat character playing faces and a same number of the Wild character playing faces as the number of the Repeat character playing faces. As with the Repeat character playing faces, the Wild character playing faces may be used for forming melds on their own, providing useful plays. In a novel and useful manner, which is a principal feature of the present invention, a Wild character playing face may be melded with a Repeat character playing face, forming a meld of “marriage”.

In accordance with another class (I) embodiment of the present invention hereinafter some times referred to as the I(3) embodiment, the supplementary character playing faces comprises a preferred group of supplementary character playing faces consisting of a plurality of Super Wild character playing faces in combination with a plurality of Wild character playing faces. A Super Wild character playing face is a playing face bearing Super Wild character indicia displaying and representing a Super Wild character. Super Wild character indicia or a Super Wild character may be any indicia means suitable for use, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of another alphabet character, either in accordance with a strict use Super Wild character rule or in accordance with a broad use Super Wild character rule. The strict use Super Wild character rule permits use of the Super Wild character to generically represent any alphabet character or writing symbol that is conventionally used in writing the alphabetic language but not an alphabet character that is found in the game character set of the game equipment. The broad use Super Wild character rule permits use of the Super Wild character to generically represent any alphabet character, whether present or not present in the game character set. Super Wild character indicia or a Super Wild character is distinctly different from any of the conventional alphabet characters, from a Wild character, and from any other indicia means of the game equipment.

Examples of alphabet characters or writing symbols that may be used conventionally in writing an alphabetic language but are not represented by the game character set include such not so commonly used characters as symbols occasionally borrowed from foreign languages, e.g. the “¥” symbol from the Japanese language in a set of the game equipment for the English language. Other examples include such characters as the symbols of “-” (hyphen), “'” (apostrophe), “&” “%”, “#” and “@”, which may be needed in playing a game but may not be present in the game character set.

Super Wild character indicia, or a Super Wild character, may consist of a pictorial or artistic text design, or a symbol, a word or words, or a combination thereof, that is distinctly different from any of the conventional alphabet characters, the Wild character, and any other indicia means of the game equipment. In a convenient manner, a Super Wild character playing face in a set of commercialized game equipment of the present invention may be so constructed that the Super Wild character playing face may also be used to display certain trademark information, certain game introduction information, or certain game instruction information.

Two to four, preferably two, Super Wild character playing faces may be included in a set of the game equipment of the present invention.

In a class (I) preferred embodiment of the invention, a preferred combination of Wild character playing faces and the I(1) Repeat character playing faces is included in a set of the game equipment of the invention, in combination with the I(2) Super Wild character playing faces. In accordance with the I(1) embodiment of the invention described hereinabove, a Repeat character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any alphabet character repeated in the word or otherwise repeated in the playing of the game. In a known manner in accordance with the broad use Wild character rule described hereinabove, a Wild character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character found in the game character set of the game equipment. In a novel manner in accordance with the strict use Wild character rule of the present invention, a Wild character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character found in the game character set but not an alphabet character that occurs repeated in the word or that otherwise may be represented by a Repeat character playing face. In a novel use in accordance with the broad use Super Wild character rule, a Super Wild character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, as a generic representation of any conventional alphabet character, whether present or not present in the game character set. In a novel use in accordance with the strict use Super Wild character rule of the present invention, a Super Wild character playing face may be used, in the construction of a word or otherwise in the playing of a game, to generically represent only a conventional alphabet character that is not found in the game character set of the game equipment.

The Repeat characters, the Wild characters, and the Super Wild characters are sometimes generically called in the present patent document “special characters”.

The bonus characters, the base characters, and any other conventional alphabet characters represented, non-generically, by the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention, by way of the character indicia on the playing faces, are collectively called in the present patent document “game characters”, and constituent the “game character set” of the set of the game equipment. The term “game characters”, or the term “game character set”, does not embrace the special characters of a set of the game equipment of the present invention.

The term “conventional alphabet characters”, as used herein, generically refers to any alphabet characters and writing symbols that are conventionally used in writing an alphabetic language, and embraces the standard and the non-standard alphabet letters of the alphabetic language, and such other writing symbols as symbols occasionally borrowed from a foreign language, financial and mathematical symbols, and punctuation marks. The term “conventional characters” does not embrace the special characters of a set of the game equipment of the present invention.

The term “alphabet characters”, or its shortened form “characters”, as used herein, has the broadest generic meaning and embraces the conventional alphabet characters and the special alphabet characters defined hereinabove.

In a preferred class (I) embodiment of the present invention, the plurality of supplementary character playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprises a combination of the I(1) Repeat character playing faces of the present invention described hereinabove and the I(2) bonus character playing faces of the present invention described hereinabove.

In another preferred class (I) embodiment of the present invention, the supplementary character playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprises a combination of the I(1) Repeat character playing faces, the I(2) bonus character playing faces, and a same number of Wild character playing faces as the number of the Repeat character playing faces.

In still another preferred class (I) embodiment of the present invention, the supplementary character playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprises a combination of the I(1) Repeat character playing faces, the I(2) bonus character playing faces, a same number of Wild character playing faces as the number of the Repeat character playing faces, and two to four preferably two of the I(3) Super Wild character playing faces.

In a preferred class (I) embodiment of the present invention hereinafter sometimes referred to as the I(4) embodiment, for a set of the game equipment conforming to a standard that may be implemented, in a preferred manner, across the major contemporary alphabetic languages of European origins and other similar languages, for playing games with one of said major contemporary alphabetic languages of European origins and other similar languages, the plurality of playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention comprises at least fifty two playing faces. Fifty two of the playing faces of the set of the game equipment form a plurality of core equipment playing faces, consisting of a plurality of a standardized number of base character playing faces as core base character playing faces, a plurality of twelve or so bonus character playing faces, a plurality of four or five Repeat character playing faces, and a same number of Wild character playing faces as the number of the Repeat character playing faces. Each of the base character playing faces bears different character indicia displaying and representing a different alphabet character.

In a preferred mode of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention, the playing faces of the game equipment are grouped into a plurality of playing face groups or ranks, each playing face group or rank having preferably an equal number of playing faces, such as three, four, five, six, or ten playing faces per group or rank. Each of the playing faces of a same rank bears numerical point value indicia displaying and representing a same numerical point or rank value different from the playing faces of another group. Each of the playing faces of a rank or group may further bear a suit identifier different among the playing faces of the group.

A set of the game equipment of the present invention having suit identifiers on the playing faces is sometimes called a suited-set of the game equipment in the present patent document. A set of the game equipment of the present invention having no suit identifiers on the playing faces is sometimes called a non-suited set of the game equipment herein.

In a preferred mode of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention, two additional playing faces, consisting of two I(3) Super Wild character playing faces described hereinabove, are included as core or standard playing faces in the set of the game equipment of the present I(4) embodiment, for a total of fifty four core equipment playing faces.

In a further preferred mode of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention, a set of the game equipment of the present invention conforms to a first standard mode, wherein the standardized number of core base character playing faces is thirty two core base character playing faces, evenly divided into eight groups or ranks of core base character playing faces, each group or rank consisting of four different base character playing faces. The plurality of bonus character playing faces consists of twelve bonus character playing faces evenly divided into three groups or ranks of four bonus character playing faces per rank. The plurality of Repeat character playing faces is four Repeat character playing faces forming a rank of Repeat character playing faces. The plurality of Wild character playing faces is four Wild character playing faces forming a rank of Wild character playing faces. Thus, the fifty two core equipment playing faces consists of thirteen ranks of playing faces four playing faces each rank. Each of the thirteen ranks of playing faces is assigned a different rank value in accordance with a rank order, ranging from the first rank to the thirteenth rank. The indicia means of each of the core equipment playing faces comprise numerical point value indicia, which numerical point value indicia display a numerical point value identical among core equipment playing faces of a same rank, and different from core equipment playing faces of a different rank. The numerical point value is preferably a natural integer, having conventionally a numerical value the same as the rank order value of the playing face or substantially reflecting the rank order value of the playing face. The indicia means of each of the core equipment playing faces of each rank may further comprise a suit identifier selected from a group of four different identifiers. Thus, a core equipment playing face in a set of the game equipment of the present invention in accordance with the present first standard mode may be classified in one way into one of thirteen different ranks and in another into one of four different suits, corresponding to the rank and suit of the playing face of a traditional playing card. A set of the game equipment of the present invention in accordance with the present first standard mode, constructed in an appropriate playing piece format, such as the playing card format, may therefore be used to play traditional playing card games, in addition to alphabet and word games. The four different identifiers may be the same as the four traditional suit symbols of the traditional playing cards, four different color identifiers, four different numerical suit identifiers different from the numerical point value or rank indicia by means of different unique physical locations on the playing faces, or other appropriate suit indicia means. The four different suit identifiers, and thus the four core equipment playing faces in a rank bearing the four different suit identifiers, may be assigned different suit orders, for example, in the order of Spade, Heart, Club, and Diamond, or from the first to the fourth.

The term “alphabetic order” as used herein has its ordinary meaning, i.e., denoting the officially recognized sequential order in which the standard alphabet characters are arranged in the standard alphabet of an alphabetic language, e.g., the order from “A” to “Z” in the English standard alphabet.

The term “Quokker order” as used herein denotes a sequential order of the alphabet characters represented by the character indicia of the playing faces of a suited set of the game equipment of the present invention, arranged first in ranks according to the rank order of the playing faces bearing the characters, from lowest to highest, and second, within a same rank, according to the suit order, from the lowest to the highest.

In a preferred I(4) embodiment of the present invention, a set of the game equipment is characterized by a Quokker order in which the base vowel characters and the base consonant characters are separated from each other types of characters, in separate blocks. Within a block of base vowel characters, and within a block of base consonant characters, the Quokker orders from low to high substantially reflect the relative orders from high to low of the frequencies of occurrence of the respective characters in the playable vocabulary of the alphabetic language.

In a preferred first standard mode of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention, the thirteen groups or ranks of core equipment playing faces are arranged as follows:

    • first rank, having a rank order value of one, said first rank consisting of said four Wild character playing faces each bearing numerical point value indicia of a value of one;
    • second rank, having a rank order value of two, said second rank consisting of said four Repeat character playing faces each bearing numerical point value indicia of a value of two;
    • third to tenth ranks, having rank order values of three to ten, respectively, each of said third to tenth ranks consisting of four of said core base character playing faces, each core base character playing face bearing numerical point value indicia of a value the same as the rank order value of the core base character playing face; and
    • eleventh to thirteenth ranks, having rank order values of eleven to thirteen, respectively, each of said eleventh to thirteenth ranks consisting of four of said bonus character playing faces, each of said bonus character playing faces bearing numerical point value indicia of a value from the group consisting of eleven to thirteen or the group consisting of twelve to fourteen corresponding to the absolute or relative rank order value of the bonus character playing face.

For a language having standard alphabet letters less in number than the standardized number of base characters of the first standard mode, i.e., thirty-two letters, one copy of each of the standard alphabet letters in the standard alphabet is preferably included in the set of core base characters born by the plurality of core base character playing faces. One copy of each of a selected number of non-standard consonants, non-standard vowels, or a combination thereof, is included in the set of core base characters, to make up for a total of thirty two core base characters. Preferably, the non-standard vowels and/or the non-standard consonants are selected from the non-standard alphabet characters most commonly used in writing the alphabetic language and/or having the greatest cultural and lexicon significance. The ratio of vowels to consonants, base and bonus characters both included, in the set of the game equipment should be reflective of the average ratio of vowels to consonants in the words of the playable vocabulary in such a manner as to enable most efficient use of the base and the bonus character playing faces of the game equipment in the playing of games of construction of words.

For a language having more than the standardized number, i.e., thirty two, of alphabet characters in the standard alphabet, one copy of each of the thirty two most commonly used, or culturally and linguistically most significant, standard alphabet characters in the standard alphabet is used to make up the set of core base characters for the set of the core base character playing faces. Any additional standard alphabet characters present in the standard alphabet, and any desirable non-standard alphabet characters, may be born by additional base character playing faces forming the non-core or the extended base character playing faces where allowed by the playing piece format in the set of the game equipment of the present invention. The extended base character playing faces may be used in the same manner as the core equipment base character playing faces, or as desirable replacements for certain core equipment base character playing faces, in certain games allowed by certain playing piece formats. In other games or playing piece formats requiring the core equipment playing faces only, the extended base character playing faces are removed from a set of the game equipment or not used in the playing of the games.

While a plurality of thirty two core base character playing faces and a plurality of twelve core bonus character playing faces are preferred in a set of the game equipment of the present invention in accordance with the present first standard mode, in other preferred modes of the I(4) embodiments of the present invention, the plurality of core base character playing faces my be more or less than thirty two, preferably in the range of twenty eight to thirty six, and the plurality of core bonus character playing faces may be more or less than twelve, preferably in the range of eight to sixteen.

Referring now to FIG. 1, there are shown several alphabet playing cards from a deck of alphabet playing cards constructed in accordance with a preferred class (I) embodiment of the present invention for playing games with the alphabet and words of the English language and for playing other games.

Focus first on the card 20 for the structure of the playing face of a Repeat character playing card of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment. The playing face 30 of the playing card 20 bears indicia means consisting of cater-corner indicia 42, 43, 44 and 42′, 43′, 44′, cater-corner indicia 77, 78 and 77′, 78′, and center indicia 62, 63. The cater-corner indicia 42, 43, 44 (or 42′, 43′, 44′) comprise cater-corner Repeat character indicia 42 (or 42′). In FIG. 1, the cater-corner Repeat character indicia 42 (42′) are shown to consist of a hollow asterisk symbol, i.e., 42 (42′), which is used to represent and display a Repeat character in the present embodiment of the invention. The cater-corner indicia 42, 43, 44 (or 42′, 43′, 44′) of the playing card 20 further comprise numerical point value or rank indicia 43 (43′), and a suit identifier or suit indicia 44 (44′). The numerical point value or rank indicia 43 (43′), of the playing card 20, are shown to consist of, or display, an Arabic numeral, i.e., 43 (43′), having a numerical point or rank value of “2”. The suit identifier or suit indicia 44 (44′), of the playing card 20, are shown to consist of a traditional playing card suit symbol, i.e., 44 (44′), of the suit of the “Hearts”. Thus, the cater-corner indicia 42, 43, 44 and 42′, 43′, 44′ of the playing card 20 display an indicia designation of “

2(Heart)”, read as “Repeat-Two of the Hearts”, for the playing face 30 of the playing card 20. The center indicia 62, 63 are shown to consist of an enlarged hollow asterisk symbol 62 and the English word “Repeat” 63, further identifying the card 20 as a Repeat character playing card. The cater-corner indicia 77, 78 (or 77′, 78′) consist of a stand-alone set of numerical point value or rank indicia 77 (77′) and suit identifier or suit indicia 78 (78′), duplicating the (regular) numerical point or rank indicia 43 (43′) and the (regular) suit identifier or suit indicia 44 (44′), respectively. It can be seen that the stand-alone set of the numerical point value or rank indicia 77 (77′) and the suit identifier or suit indicia 78 (78′) displays a stand-alone traditional playing card style rank and suit indicia designation, i.e., “the Two of the Hearts”, or “2 (Heart)”, for the playing face 30 of the playing card 20.

Focus next on the card 22 for the structure of the playing face of a bonus character playing card of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment. The playing face 32 of the playing card 22 bears indicia means consisting of cater-corner indicia 46, 47, 48 and 46′, 47′, 48′, cater-corner indicia 79, 80 and 79′, 80′, and center indicia 65, 66. The cater-corner indicia 46, 47, 48 (46′, 47′, 48′) consist of character indicia 46 (46′), numerical point value or rank indicia 47 (47′), and suit indicia 48 (48′). The character indicia 46 (46′), of the card 22, are shown to consist of an alphabet character 46 (46′), representing and displaying the English letter “A”. The numerical point value or rank indicia 47 (47′), of the card 22, are shown to consist of an Arabic numeral, i.e., the numeral “14”. The suit indicia 48 (48′), of the card 22, are shown to consist of a traditional playing card suit symbol of the suit of the “Clubs”. Thus, the cater-corner indicia 46, 47, 48 (or 46′, 47′, 48′) of the playing card 22 display an indicia designation of “A14(Club)”, read as “A-Fourteen of the Clubs” (or “A14 of the Clubs”), for the playing face 32 of the playing card 22. The center indicia 65, 66, of the card 22, are shown to comprise an enlarged alphabet character symbol 65 and a pictorial background 66. The enlarged alphabet character symbol 65, rendered in artistic lettering displaying the English letter “A”, further identifies the card 22 as a card for representing the English alphabet character of “A”. In the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment, a base character playing card has a numerical point or rank value of no more than eleven and a bonus character playing card has a numerical point or rank value of twelve or more. Thus, for example, the cards 25, 26, and 27 in FIG. 1 are base character playing cards, and the cards 22, 23, and 24 are bonus character playing cards. Further, the pictorial background 66, of the card 22 in FIG. 1, is identically present on the playing faces of other bonus character playing cards (not shown in FIG. 1) that have the same rank as the card 22, i.e., the rank of “14”, in the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment. The pictorial background 66 is absent from any of the base character playing cards, e.g., cards 25, 26, and 27 shown in FIG. 1, and differs from the pictorial backgrounds of bonus character playing cards of different ranks, e.g., cards 23 and 24, of the same deck. Thus it will be seen that the pictorial background 65 will further identify the card 22 as a bonus character playing card, having the rank of “14”. The cater-corner indicia 79, 80 (or 79′, 80′) consist of a stand-alone set of rank 79 (79′) and suit 80 (80′) indicia. In the present embodiment, the stand-alone rank indicia 79 (79′) on the playing card 22 are rendered in the traditional playing card rank symbol of “K” (79, 79′) for “King”, corresponding to the numerical point value or rank indicia of “14” 47 (47′). The stand-alone indicia designation for the playing card 22, expressed in the traditional playing card terms, is therefore “the King of the Clubs”, or “K (Club)”.

The cards 23 and 24 shown in FIG. 1 are two bonus character playing cards of two other ranks than the rank of the bonus character card 22, of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment. It will be seen that the playing faces 33 and 34 of the playing cards 23 and 24, respectively, in FIG. 1, display indicia designations of “A13(Spade)” or “A13 of the Spades” and “Y12(Spade)” or “Y12 of the Spades”, respectively, and stand-alone indicia designations of “Queen of the Spades” or “Q (Spade)” and “Jack of the Spades” or “J(Spade)”, respectively. Note that the different pictorial backgrounds 68 and 70, on the playing faces 33 and 34, respectively, correspond to the different rank indicia 50 and 53, respectively.

Focus now on the card 21 in FIG. 1 where the structure of the playing face of a Super Wild character playing card of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment is illustrated. As shown in FIG. 1, the playing face 31 of the Super Wild character playing card 21 bears indicia means consisting of cater-corner indicia 45 and 45′, and center indicia 64. The cater-corner indicia 45 (or 45′), of the card 21, consist of a vertically printed trademark word “Quokker”, which is used to indicate and represent a Super Wild character in playing a game. The center indicia 64 consist of an artistic text containing product trademark and commercial information, which is also used to indicate and represent a Super Wild character in playing a game.

Turn now to the card 19 in FIG. 1 where there is shown a Wild character playing card of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment. The indicia means born by the playing face 29 of the playing card 19 consist of cater-corner indicia 39, 40, 41 and 39′, 40′, 41′, cater-corner indicia 75, 76 and 75′, 76′, and center indicia 60, 61. The cater-corner indicia 39, 40, 41 (39′, 40′, 41′) consist of character indicia 39 (39′), numerical point value or rank indicia 40 (40′), and suit indicia 41 (41′). The character indicia 39 (39′), of the card 19, are shown to consist of a solid asterisk symbol, which is used to represent and display the Wild character in the present embodiment of the invention. The numerical point value or rank indicia 40 (40′), of the card 19, are shown to consist of an Arabic numeral, i.e., the numeral of “1”. The suit indicia 41 (41′), of the card 19, are shown to consist of a traditional playing card suit symbol of the suit of the “Spade”. Thus, the cater-corner indicia 39, 40, 41 and 39′, 40′, 41′ of the playing card 19 display an indicia designation of “

1(Spade)”, or

“Wild-One of the Spades”, for the playing face 29 of the playing card 19. The center indicia 60, 61, of the card 19, are shown to consist of an enlarged solid asterisk symbol 60 and the English word “Wild” 61. The cater-corner indicia 75, 76 (75′, 76′) consist of a stand-alone set of rank 75 (75′) and suit 76 (76′) indicia. In the present embodiment, the stand-alone rank indicia 75 (75′) on the playing card 19 are rendered in the traditional playing card rank symbol of “A” (75, 75′) for “Ace”, corresponding to the numerical point value or rank of “1” (40, 40′) of the playing card 19.

Turn now to the card 27 in FIG. 1 for an illustration of the structure of the playing face of a base character playing card of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment. The playing face 37 of the playing card 27 bears indicia means consisting of cater-corner indicia 55, 56, 57 and 55′, 56′, 57′, cater-corner indicia 85, 86 and 85′, 86′, and center indicia 71. The cater-corner indicia 55, 56, 57 (55′, 56′, 57′) consist of character indicia 55 (55′), numerical point value or rank indicia 56 (56′), and suit indicia 57 (57′). The character indicia 55 (55′), of the card 27, are shown to consist of an alphabet character, i.e., the English letter “P” 55 (55′). The numerical point value or rank indicia 56 (56′), of the card 27, are shown to consist of an Arabic numeral, i.e., the numeral of “6” 56 (56′). The suit indicia 57 (57′), of the card 27, are shown to consist of a traditional playing card suit symbol 57 (57′) of the suit of the “Diamonds”. Thus, the cater-corner indicia 55, 56, 57 and 55′, 56′, 57′ of the playing card 27 display an indicia designation of “P6 (Diamond)”, read as “P-Six of the Diamonds” or “P6 of the Diamonds”, for the playing face 37 of the playing card 27. The center indicia 71, of the card 27, are shown to consist of an enlarged alphabet character rendered in artistic lettering displaying the English letter “P”. The cater-corner indicia 85, 86 (85′, 86′) consist of a stand-alone set of rank 85 (85′) and suit 86 (86′) indicia, duplicating the (regular) numerical point or rank indicia 56 (56′) and the (regular) suit identifier or suit indicia 57 (57′), respectively.

The cards 25 and 26 in FIG. 1 are also base character playing cards, having (regular) indicia designations of “A3(Heart)”, or “A3 of the Hearts”, and “L5(Club)”, or “L5 of the Clubs”, respectively, and stand-alone indicia designations of “3 of the Hearts” and “5 of the Clubs” respectively.

It is understood that the rear faces of the playing cards of the deck of alphabet playing cards of the present embodiment have an identical design in accordance with playing card conventions.

For a full list of the indicia designations of the playing faces of the entire deck of alphabet playing cards of the present embodiment, refer now to FIG. 2. In FIG. 2, there is shown a list of indicia designations for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention constructed in accordance with a preferred I(4) embodiment.

The list of indicia designations in FIG. 2 is shown in a tabular form, a row representing the indicia designations for playing faces of a same rank and a column representing the indicia designations for playing faces of a same suit. Broken lines are used to define and reference a block of the indicia designations, e.g., the block 100. Identical reference numerals in FIG. 2 and FIG. 1 refer or correspond to same indicia designations.

As shown in FIG. 2, by way of the indicia designations of the playing faces, illustrating a preferred combination of the preferred features of the game equipment of the present invention, the deck of alphabet playing cards of the present embodiment, of which several representative cards are shown FIG. 1, constructed with the alphabet characters of the English language as the base and the bonus characters, essentially consists of a plurality of thirty two base character playing cards (indicia designations shown in blocks 102, 103, and 104 in FIG. 2) and a plurality of twenty two supplementary character playing cards (indicia designations shown in blocks 100, 101, 105, 106, and 107). The plurality of the base characters consists of one copy each of the twenty six standard English alphabet letters (blocks 102 and 103), and six most commonly used double letter alphabet characters (block 104), for a total of thirty two (32) base characters. The plurality of the supplementary characters consists of twelve bonus characters (blocks 105 and 106), four Wild characters (block 100), four Repeat characters (block 101), and two Super Wild characters (block 107). As shown in FIG. 2, the twelve bonus characters consists of two copies (blocks 105 and 106) of the five English standard vowels, “A”, “E”, “I”, “O”, “U”, and the dual letter “Y”. The four Wild characters (block 100), the four Repeat characters (block 101), and the two Super Wild characters (block 107), together form a group of ten (10) special characters present in the instant embodiment of the game equipment of the invention. The thirty two base characters (blocks 102, 103, and 104) and the twelve bonus characters (blocks 105 and 106) together form a group of forty four (44) conventional alphabet characters (the game characters) present in the instant embodiment of the game equipment of the invention. Thus, the instant deck of playing cards, constructed for games with the English alphabet characters, consists of a total of fifty-four playing cards. The fifty-four playing cards are conveniently divided into thirteen ranks, four cards per rank, plus the two Super Wild character playing cards, as follows:

    • four Wild character cards, the indicia designations of which are shown in block 100, each card bearing the numerical point value or rank indicia of “1”, forming the first rank;
    • four Repeat character cards, the indicia designations of which are shown in block 101, each card bearing the numerical point value or rank indicia of “2”, forming the second rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “E”, “A”, “I”, “I”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “3” (block 102), forming the third rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “U”, “Y”, “S”, “R”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “4” (blocks 102 and 103), forming the fourth rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “N”, “T”, “L”, “D”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “5” (block 103), forming the fifth rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “C”, “G”, “M”, “P”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “6” (block 103), forming the sixth rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “H”, “B”, “F”, “K”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “7” (block 103), forming the seventh rank:
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “W”, “V”, “X”, “Z”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “8” (block 103), forming the eighth rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “J”, “Q”, “NG”, “CH”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “9” (blocks 103 and 104), forming the ninth rank;
    • four base character cards, bearing the base characters “SH”, “TR”, “TH”, “DR”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “10” (block 104), forming the tenth rank; four bonus character cards, bearing the bonus characters “Y”, “U”, “O”, “O”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “12” (block 105), forming the eleventh rank, or the traditional playing card rank of Jack;
    • four bonus character cards, bearing the bonus characters “A”, “E”, “Y”, “U”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “13” (blocks 105 and 106), forming the twelfth rank, or the traditional playing card rank of Queen;
    • four bonus character cards, bearing the bonus characters “O”, “I”, “A”, “E”, respectively, and the numerical point value or rank indicia of “14” (block 106), forming the thirteenth rank, or the traditional playing card rank of King; and
    • two Super Wild character cards, each bearing the trademark word of “Quokker” as the Super Wild character and no numerical point value or rank indicia (block 107).

The rectangular symbols, one of which is indicated at 92, in FIG. 2, represent rank and suit positions reserved for extended alphabet characters, which are not presently used in the present deck of alphabet playing cards for English language games. The extended alphabet characters allow additional base characters, desirable for languages having additional standard alphabet letters beyond thirty two standard alphabet letters, to be included in a set of the game equipment of the present invention in accordance with the first standard mode of the I(4) embodiment. Inclusion of the four positions for extended alphabet characters shown under bracket 113 will allow a total of thirty six base characters to be present in a set of the game equipment of the present invention conforming to the first standard mode of the I(4) embodiment, for languages having up to thirty six standard alphabet letters. Inclusion of additional positions shown under brackets 108, 109, 110, 111, and 112, preferably in the order shown, will allow additional base characters, up to a maximum total of fifty-six (56) base characters, to be present in the set of the game equipment, for a language having up to fifty-six (56) standard alphabet letters. In a preferred manner, base vowels are limited to rank values of four or less.

It will be seen from the list of the indicia designations in FIG. 2 that the ratio of the total number of vowel character playing cards over the total number of consonant character playing cards in the deck of playing cards of the instant embodiment for the English language is about 1.2. Such a ratio reflects the ratio of the vowel characters over the consonant characters in the words of a typical playable vocabulary of the English language, and is thus desirable for the efficient usage of the deck of playing cards for construction of words in the playing of a game. It will be seen that the desirable ratio has been conveniently achieved by the inclusion of the six double letter consonants in the base characters and by the allowing of all of the bonus characters to be vowels (the letter “Y” counting as a vowel here), which vowels happen to be among the alphabet characters most commonly repeated and most frequently occurring in words of the English language. It is understood, however, that bonus characters are not limited to vowels and may also include consonants, preferably consonants most commonly repeated or occurring in the playable vocabulary.

As shown in FIG. 2, by way of the indicia designations, each of the four cards of a same rank in the instant deck of playing cards bears a different suit identifier selected from the four traditional playing card suit symbols (see, e.g., the first row of the indicia designations in block 100). In a similar fashion, each of the four positions reserved for extended characters of a same rank shown under each brackets (113, 108, 109, 110, 111, and 112), in FIG. 2, is assigned a different suit identifier selected from the four traditional playing card suit symbols. In a preferred manner, the indicia means on the playing face of the two Super Wild character playing cards (indicia designations shown in block 107, in FIG. 2) are printed in different colors, differentiating the two cards from each other.

The cards of the present embodiment described above and illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 are suited alphabet playing cards of the present embodiment (suited deck of alphabet playing cards). It will be understood that a non-suited deck of alphabet playing cards of the present embodiment may be constructed without the presence, on the playing faces of the playing cards, of the suit identifiers or suit indicia described above and shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Further, it is to be understood that a deck of alphabet playing cards having all or part of the FIG. 2 playing face indicia designation designs may be constructed in the playing card format incorporating features of co-pending design patent applications No. 29/170,811, filed Nov. 12, 2002, or No. 29/166,722, filed Sep. 3, 2002, which co-pending applications are hereby incorporated into the present application by reference.

The Quokker order of the Wild, the Repeat, and the base characters in the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment of FIG. 2 indicia designation designs for the English language is as follows: Wild, Repeat; E, A, I, O; U, Y, S, R; N, T, L, D; C, G, M, P; H, B, F, K; W, V, X, Z; J, Q, NG, CH; SH, TR, TH, DR (semi-colons artificially separate the characters for easy recitation and memorizing).

It will be apparent to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure, that the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment, suited or non-suited, will be useful for playing games of word construction in the conventional manner. An example of word construction in the conventional manner using alphabet playing cards of the present embodiment can be seen in FIG. 1, where the cards 27, 26, 25, and 24 together form an English word, i.e., the word of “PLAY”. Word construction involving special characters, i.e., the Repeat, the Wild and the Super Wild characters, in accordance with one or more of the principal features of the present invention, has been disclosed hereinabove and will be understood further from additional descriptions and illustrations hereinbelow under embodiments of the invention in the second (II) and the third (III) classes.

While the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment of the invention for the English language contains only 54-cards that fit into a handy pack of cards of a size and dimension familiar to many game players, the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment of the invention allows the playing of games with almost any word of the English language, including words that are difficult to play using prior art alphabet game equipment, such as words containing alphabet letters repeated multiple times. Thus, a word containing an alphabet letter repeated up to four times, or containing several alphabet letters repeated for a total number of up to four times, may be played using cards from the present deck, by including up to four of the Repeat character playing cards. Including up to four of the Wild character cards, used under the broad use Wild character rule, the total number of times a letter may be repeated can be up to eight. Additional cards for repeated letters may come from the double letter cards and the bonus character cards.

A deck of 54- or so playing cards of the present embodiment of the invention (a “regular” deck) may be used alone, or in combination with one or more additional decks in the playing of a game. The process of combining two regular decks of 54- or so cards (or two regular sets of 54- or so playing pieces in another planar playing piece format) to provide a combined deck of 108- or so cards (or a combined set of 108- or so playing pieces) is called “double-decking” herein. The process of combining three or more regular decks of 54- or so cards (or three or more regular sets of 54- or so playing pieces) to provide a combined deck (or set) of 162- or more cards (or playing pieces) is called “multi-decking” herein.

It will also be apparent to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure, that the advantageous FIG. 2 numerical point value indicia design, of the deck of playing cards of the present embodiment of the invention, suited or non-suited, may be used alone without the other indicia means, in the playing of numerical games, in addition to functioning as point or rank values to the character indicia in the playing of alphabet and word games.

As described hereinabove and illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, the suited deck of playing cards of the present embodiment contains a card corresponding to every card of the traditional deck of playing cards by way of identical or corresponding suit and rank indicia designations. Thus, it will be apparent to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure, that the suited deck of playing cards of the present embodiment will be useful for playing games adapted from many of the traditional playing card games, in addition to alphabet and word games.

In playing the traditional playing card games with a suited deck of playing cards of the present embodiment, the alphabet character indicia of a card may be ignored, and the numerical rank and the suit indicia alone are used, in a manner directly adapted from the traditional playing cards. It is understood that, in the present embodiment where the numerical point value indicia of “11” is reserved for extended alphabet characters for the cross-language standardization purpose, the numerical point value of “12” of cards of the present embodiment corresponds to the rank of Jack of the traditional playing cards, “13” the rank of the Queen, and “14” the rank the King.

Alternatively, in playing games adapted from traditional playing card games, the character indicia and the numerical rank indicia of a playing card of a suited deck of playing cards of the present embodiment may be combined and considered together as the rank indicia of the card. For example, a player may call the card 25 in FIG. 1 “the A3 of Hearts”, instead of “the (traditional playing card) 3 of Hearts”. It is understood that the rank of “A3” has a rank order value of “3”.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, and 3 c, there are illustrated three other planar playing piece formats in which a set of the game equipment of the present invention having FIG. 2 playing face indicia designation designs may be constructed. Identical reference numerals in FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, 3 c, and FIG. 2 refer to same indicia designations.

Shown in FIG. 3 a is a playing block 120 having a playing face 121 bearing indicia means 46, 47, 48 consisting of character indicia 46, numerical point value or rank indicia 47, and suit identifier or suit indicia 48. It is thus seen that the playing face 121 of the playing block 120 displays the indicia designation of “A14 of the Clubs” of FIG. 2.

Shown in FIG. 3 b is a playing tile 122 having a playing face 123 bearing indicia means 46, 47, 48 consisting of character indicia 46, numerical point value or rank indicia 47, and suit identifier or suit indicia 48. It is thus seen that the playing face 123 of the playing tile 122 displays the indicia designation of “A 14 of the Clubs” of FIG. 2.

Shown in FIG. 3 c is a playing chip 124 having a playing face 125 located on one face 126 of the playing chip 124. The playing face 125 bears indicia means 46, 47, 48 consisting of character indicia 46, numerical point value or rank indicia 47, and suit identifier or suit indicia 48. It is thus seen that the playing face 125 of the playing chip 124 displays the indicia designation of “A14 of the Clubs” of FIG. 2.

The construction of playing pieces bearing various other playing face indicia designations of FIG. 2, in any of the three planar playing piece formats described hereinabove and illustrated in FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, and 3 c, and the playing of games similar to the games played with the game equipment of the present invention in the playing card format, will be obvious to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure, and will be further understood from additional examples and illustrations described hereinbelow under embodiments of the invention in the second (II) and the third (III) classes.

It is understood that removing the suit identifiers or suit indicia from the playing faces of the game equipment of the invention in any of the three planar playing piece formats described hereinabove and illustrated in FIGS. 3 a, 3 b, and 3 c will result in a non-suited set of the game equipment of the invention in a said planar playing piece format.

Combination of two (regular) sets of the alphabet playing tiles (FIG. 3 b) or chips (FIG. 3 c) having FIG. 2 indicia designation designs of the present invention, i.e., double-decking, will provide a combined set of one hundred and eight or so alphabet playing tiles or chips. The combined set of one hundred and eight or so alphabet playing tiles or chips may be used, in place of the one hundred or so SCRABBLE™ playing tiles, for the playing of a SCRABBLE™-like alphabet and word board game. The combined set of one hundred and eight or so alphabet playing tiles or chips, of the present invention, however, offers advantageous features and new playing mechanisms of the game equipment of the present invention, such as the use of Repeat characters described hereinabove and herenbelow, and the easier playing piece tracking and greater playability in general. In a preferred manner of the invention, one of the two regular sets of the alphabet playing tiles or chips may have a different rear face design than the other regular set of the alphabet playing tiles or chips. The difference in the rear face design allows the two regular sets of the alphabet playing tiles to be readily separated from each other, providing independent regular sets of the game equipment that may be used for playing regular games designed for a regular set of the alphabet playing tiles or chips. The two different rear face designs may also allow the two regular sets of the alphabet playing tiles or chips to be used for the playing of other board games such as the well known Checker game, on a Checker game board.

Referring now to FIG. 3 d, there is shown a perspective view of a six-sided playing dice 128 from a set of the game equipment of the present invention constructed in the playing dice format in accordance with a class (I) embodiment of the invention.

Focusing on one side face 129 of the six-sided playing dice 128, there is illustrated, by way of example, the structure of construction of the indicia means on a typical side face of the playing dice. As seen in FIG. 3 d, the side face 129 bears indicia means 46, 47 consisting of character indicia 46 and numerical point value or rank indicia 47, both printed or inscribed on the side face 129 in a same color selected from one of four different suit-coding colors (e.g., Red, Blue, Green, and Orange, on a white background). In the present example, the character indicia 46 displays the English alphabet letter “A”, the numerical point value or rank indicia 47 displays the Arabic numeral of “14”, and the color of the indicia is “Green”. Thus, the side face 129 of the playing dice 128 displays an indicia designation of “A14(Green)”, or “A14 of the Green Suit”, corresponding to the indicia designation of “A14(Clubs)” of FIG. 2.

In the present embodiment, the set of the game equipment comprises a plurality of fourteen playing dices for playing multi-dice alphabet and word games. The indicia designations for the sides of the fourteen playing dices are adapted from the indicia designations shown in FIG. 2, and are arranged on the fourteen dices as follows:

    • Dice 1: “Wild”-1(Red), “Repeat”-2(Red), E3(Red), U4(Red), N5(Red), C6(Red);
    • Dice 2: “Wild”-1(Blue), “Repeat”-2(Blue), A3(Blue), Y4(Blue), T5(Blue), G6(Blue);
    • Dice 3: “Wild”-1(Green), “Repeat”-2(Green), 13(Green), S4(Green), L5(Green), M6(Green);
    • Dice 4: “Wild”-1(Orange), “Repeat”-2(Orange), O3(Orange), R4(Orange), D5(Orange), P6(Orange);
    • Dice 5: H7(Red), W8(Red), J9(Red), SH10(Red), Y12(Red), A13(Red);
    • Dice 6: B7(Blue), V8(Blue), Q9(Blue), TR10(Blue), U12(Blue), E13(Blue);
    • Dice 7: F7(Green), X8(Green), NG9(Green), TH10(Green), 012(Green), Y13(Green);
    • Dice 8: K7(Orange), Z8(Orange), CH9(Orange), DR10(Orange), 112(Orange), U13(Orange);
    • Dice 9: O14(Red), 114(Blue), A14(Green), E14(Orange), “Quokker”(Red), “Quokker”(Blue);
    • Dice 10: E3(Red), A3(Blue), 13(Green), O3(Orange), W8(Red), V8(Blue);
    • Dice 11: U4(Red), Y4(Blue), S4(Green), R4(Orange), X8(Green), Z8(Orange);
    • Dice 12: N5(Red), T5(Blue), L5(Green), D5(Orange), J9(Red), Q9(Blue);
    • Dice 13: C6(Red), G6(Blue), M6(Green), P6(Orange), NG9(Green), CH9(Orange);
    • Dice 14: H7(Red), B7(Blue), F7(Green), K7(Orange), SH10(Red), TR10(Blue).

In the list of indicia designations for the sides of the fourteen playing dices above, “Wild” refers to the Wild character, “Repeat” refers to the Repeat character, “Quokker” refers to the Super Wild character, and the traditional playing card suit symbols of Spade, Heart, Club, and Diamond, of FIG. 2 are replaced by color suits of Red, Blue, Green, and Orange, respectively.

It is understood that printing or inscribing the indicia means on the faces of the above described playing dices in one color for all faces, or one color for the faces representing and displaying vowels and one color for the faces representing and displaying consonants, will provide a non-suited set of the playing dices of the present embodiment of the invention.

In the playing of a multi-dice word construction game by two or more players using the above described fourteen dices, one player throws or randomizes the playing dices. Upon a dice's landing on the playing table, the top side face of the dice becomes the playing face of the playing dice (e.g., the top side face 129 of the playing dice 128 shown in FIG. 3 d). A second player attempts to construct the longest word the player can with the characters displayed by the character indicia of the playing faces of the fourteen playing dices. The use of special characters, i.e., the Repeat character, the Wild character, and the Super Wild character, in the construction of the word, are as described in or will be understood from the present patent disclosure.

In an advanced mode of the multi-dice word construction game, each player plays for a highest total number of score points calculated by summing the values of the numerical point value indicia of the playing faces forming the word. In a preferred manner, each natural character forming the word counts as its face value, each Repeat character counts as ten (10) points, each Super Wild character used under the strict use Super Wild character rule counts as twenty (20) points, and each Wild character counts as minus ten (−10) points.

Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown another list of indicia designations for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention, constructed in accordance with another preferred class (I) embodiment. In FIG. 4, the alphabet characters of the English language are again used for the illustration of the base and the bonus characters.

Again, as in FIG. 2, the list in FIG. 4 is arranged in a tabular form, a row representing the indicia designations of playing faces of a same rank and a column representing the indicia designations of playing faces of a same suit, for playing faces representing conventional alphabet characters. Broken lines are used to define and reference a block of the indicia designations, e.g., the block 170.

There are shown in blocks 170, 171, 172, 173, 174, 175, and 176 in FIG. 4 a total of fifty-four indicia designations for fifty-four playing faces. The fifty-four playing faces consist of thirty base character playing faces 170, 171, 172, twelve bonus character playing faces 173, five Wild character playing faces 175, five Repeat character playing faces 174, and two Super Wild character playing faces 176. The thirty base character playing faces are grouped into five base character ranks of six base character playing faces per rank (170, 171, 172). The twelve bonus character playing faces are grouped into two ranks of six bonus character playing faces per rank (173). The five base character ranks are each assigned a different rank value ranging from “I” to “5” (170, 171, 172). The two bonus character ranks are assigned the rank values of “6” and “7”, respectively (block 173). An indicia designation (e.g., 150, 151, 152) for a playing face displaying and representing a conventional alphabet character is shown in FIG. 4 to consist of a character indicia designation (e.g., 150), a numerical point value or rank indicia designation (e.g., 151), and an optional numerical suit indicia designation (e.g., 152). Unlike the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 2, indicia designations for Wild character playing faces and for Repeat character playing faces in the present embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 4, are shown to have no numerical or rank indicia component, nor a suit indicia component. In the playing of a game, a rank or numerical point value of “0” may be assumed for the Wild character playing faces and the Repeat character playing faces. However, other rank or numerical values may be assigned to the Wild character and the Repeat character playing faces in the playing of a game as the game may require.

For yet another example of indicia designation designs for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the invention, refer to FIG. 5. Shown in FIG. 5 is a list of indicia designations for the playing faces of a set of the game equipment of the present invention, constructed in accordance with yet another class (I) preferred embodiment. The alphabet characters of the English language are again used in the illustration of the base characters and the bonus characters.

In FIG. 5, there are again shown fifty-four indicia designations for fifty-four playing faces, consisting of thirty base character playing faces (blocks 200, 194, and 195), twelve bonus character playing faces (196), five Repeat character playing faces (197), five Wild character playing faces (198), and two Super Wild character playing faces (199). The same thirty alphabet characters of the English language are used to illustrate the base characters in FIG. 5 as in FIG. 4. Compared to FIG. 4, the thirty base character playing faces of FIG. 5 are divided into three ranks, each rank consisting of ten base character playing faces, each rank having a different numerical point or rank value ranging from “1” to “3” (200, 194, and 195), rather than five ranks as in the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4. Bonus characters (196) are shown to have numerical point values of “7” and “9” in the present embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5. However, other numerical point values higher than the numerical point values of the base character playing faces (200, 194, and 195) may be used. The special characters (197, 198, and 199) are shown to have no fixed numerical point values, as in FIG. 4. It is seen that the present embodiment is a non-suited set of the game equipment, without suit indicia.

For further understanding of the features and utilities of the game equipment and games of the present invention, and for a fuller comprehension of the scope thereof, readers should now proceed to the following description of the second (II) and the third (III) classes of the preferred embodiments of the present invention.

The Second Class (II) of Preferred Embodiments

The second class of preferred embodiments, or class (II) preferred embodiments, of the present invention, described hereinbelow, disclose in detail and by way of example the alphabet compendium games of the present invention. The alphabet compendium games of the present invention may sometimes be referred to herein collectively as “games of the second class of the embodiments”, or “class (II) games”. A game, or games, of a particular embodiment of the second class may be further referred to as a “II(x) game”, or “II(x) games”, where the “x” in the parenthesis is an Arabic numeral denoting the membership number of the particular member of the second class of the embodiments.

The games of the second class (II) of the embodiments are played by two to six, preferably two to four, game players using planar alphabet playing pieces, such as the alphabet playing cards, blocks, tiles, or chips of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention described hereinabove, or other planar alphabet playing pieces that have rear faces indistinguishable from one another and front faces bearing character indicia suitable for constructing and displaying words of a playable vocabulary of an alphabetic language. A game of the class (II) embodiments of the present invention comprises the following basic steps:

    • (a.) grouping the game players into two or more teams, each team consisting of one or more, preferably one or two, game players;
    • (b.) dealing out an even hand of twelve or so of the planar alphabet playing pieces to each game player or a common hand to the center of the playing table;
    • (c.) playing out, by each game player, in a plurality of rounds, taking a turn in each round, the even hand dealt to said each game player, or the common hand dealt to the center of the playing table;
    • (d.) wining, by one or more of the teams, the planar alphabet playing piece or pieces played out, by way of a conventional playing mechanism, such as the trick-taking playing mechanism of, or adapted from, the games of the traditional playing cards, or by way of a novel playing mechanism;
    • (e.) constructing, by each team, a word or words using the planar alphabet playing pieces each team won in a round or from the playing of the plurality of rounds;
    • (f.) determining a winner among the teams, or assigning a score to each team, based on the planar alphabet playing pieces forming the word or words constructed by the teams, or by each team.

In a game of the first member of the class (II) embodiments, hereinafter sometimes called the II(1) embodiment, of the present invention, the game is played with ranked planer alphabet playing pieces, such as the alphabet playing cards or blocks of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention described hereinabove, and the playing mechanism for wining playing pieces is the trick-taking playing mechanism of, or adapted from, the games of the traditional playing cards. Playing pieces played out by the players in a round are ranked in accordance with a pre-agreed ranking rule to determine a player who takes the trick in the round.

In one form of the game of the II(1) embodiment, played by two to four players, each player is dealt a hand of twelve or so planar alphabet playing pieces and the hands are played out in a plurality of rounds, in each round each player taking a turn playing out a playing piece as in traditional trick-taking games played with the traditional deck of playing cards. The playing pieces played out in a round are ranked in accordance with a pre-agreed character order substantially following the alphabetic order of the standard alphabet of the alphabetic language, special characters and non-standard alphabet characters having been given special ranks.

In another form of the game of the II(1) embodiment, numerically ranked alphabet playing pieces are used to play the game and the playing pieces played out in a round are ranked in accordance with the numerical rank values of the playing pieces played out.

In a form of the II(1) game, each team aims at forming a single word of the longest character length, as judged between or among the teams, said word being constructed by said each team using some or all of the playing pieces won by the team, from the playing of the plurality of rounds, at the end of the playing of the last round.

In another form of the II(1) game, played with numerically ranked playing pieces, each team aims at forming a single word having the highest total numerical rank or point value, as judged between or among the teams, said word being constructed by said each team using some or all of the playing pieces won by the team, from the playing of the plurality of rounds, at the end of the playing of the last round.

In still another form of the II(1) game, each team aims at forming a higher number of words constructed using some or all of the playing pieces won by the team, from the playing of the plurality of rounds, at the end of the playing of the last round.

In further variant forms of the II(1) game for three or four players, the players bid and contract to construct a word of a minimum length.

For reasons apparent from the disclosures above and from additional details of description hereinafter, a game of the I(1) embodiment of the present invention is sometimes called an “alphabet trick-taking game” in the present patent document.

The playing of several variants of an alphabet trick-taking game using alphabet playing cards having FIG. 2 indicia designation designs (Quokker playing cards) is described in further details below in the following rules for playing an alphabet trick-taking game.

Equipment: One or two suited or non-suited decks of 54-Quokker playing cards. Suit indicia of suited playing cards are ignored in the game.

Players: Two to six. For a two-player game, two Dummies are added in. For a three-player game, one Dummy may be used. One deck of the playing cards are used for two to four players, and two are used for five or six players.

Set up: Players sit around the play table. For a two-player game, the two players sit opposite to each other across the table, each Dummy being placed to the right of a player.

Object: To score by constructing a word or words.

The Deal: The game is played in four deals for two players, three or six deals for three players, four deals for four players, five deals for five players, and six deals for six players. Determine a (initial) lead player for the play of the first deal by a random means, such as by drawing a highest point value card. For the play of subsequent deals, players take turns clockwise to be the initial lead player. Player on the right of the initial lead player shuffles the cards and deals the entire deck or decks out as much as possible, evenly, one card at a time, face down, to each player and to any Dummy. Any odd cards are discarded and not used further in the game. A Dummy's hand is laid down on the table as a pile, each card face down unexposed, and is played out from the top of the pile by the player to the left of the Dummy.

The Play: The lead player leads a round by playing out a single card. Clockwise each other player and Dummy in turn follow by playing out a single card. Each player places the card he/she played out face up on the table in front of him/her. The first player who played out the card with the highest ranking in the round wins all the cards played out in the round, for the player's winning pile, and leads the next round. A Dummy is considered a player when determining the lead player but not considered as a player in ranking of the cards played out nor in the winning of the cards played out.

The playing continues until all cards are played out of each player's hand. At the end of the last round, each player constructs a single word in one version of the game, or as many words as the player can in another version of the game, using cards from each player's winning pile. The number of cards forming the word or words is used as the basis for calculating the score. The use of Repeat characters follows the description of the use of Repeat characters given under the I(1) embodiment herein. The use of Wild characters follows either the broad use Wild character rule or the strict use Wild character rule, described under the class (I) embodiments herein, as may be agreed upon by or among the players prior to the playing of the game. The use of Super Wild characters follows the strict use Super Wild character rule. A Repeat character card and a Super Wild character card each count as one card for the scoring purpose, as does a base or a bonus character card. A Wild character card does not count towards the number of cards forming the word or words. Each player scores ten points for each countable card forming the word or words constructed by said each player.

At the end of the play of the last deal, the scores from the play of each deal for each player are added up for a final score for each player. The player with the highest final score wins the game.

Variation 1: Partnership play for two or four players. The four players sit around the table, partners facing each other across the table, North-South being one team and East-West being the other. For two players, the two players sit next to each other, each player having a Dummy as partner sitting opposite to the player across the table. Each player, Dummy included, is dealt a hand of twelve cards. The remaining six cards of the deck are discarded, unused and unexposed. Dummies' hands are exposed and played by the Dummies' partner. Partners share one common wining pile and construct one word (game version A) or as many words as the partners can (game version B) for the scoring purpose. In a further variation, only the partnership that presents a word of a higher card count is allowed to score. If the two partnerships present words of the same card count, both partnerships score.

Variation 2: Partnership play for three players and one Dummy. Randomly select and expose a card in the middle of the deck before dealing. Each player, Dummy included, is dealt a hand of twelve cards, the remaining six cards forming a nest at the center of the table unexposed. The player who is dealt the card that was exposed before the dealing forms a partnership with the Dummy, the other two players forming a second partnership, for the play of the current deal. Partners sit opposite to each other across the table, reseating for the play of the deal if necessary. The Dummy's hand is exposed by the Dummy's partner and will be played by the Dummy's partner. The Dummy's partner may examine the nest and exchange any cards in the nest with any cards in the player's hand, one card for one card. The nest is never exposed to the other players during the play of the deal. The Dummy's partner leads the first round. In one variation, the teaming (for partnership) with the Dummy is randomly determined for the play of every deal, i.e., by means of the exposed card before dealing. In another variation, only for the play of the first deal the teaming is determined by the exposed card before dealing, and the game is played in three or six deals, clockwise each player taking a turn to team up with the Dummy in the play of subsequent deals, the players reseating whenever necessary. Each player has its own score record and scores the points scored by the player's partnership from the playing of a deal.

Variation 3: Partnership play with bidding and contract for three players and a Dummy. Each player, Dummy included, is dealt a hand of twelve cards, the remaining six cards forming a nest at the center of the table unexposed. The Dummy's hand is exposed. Clockwise each player, after examining the player's hand and the Dummy's, and starting from the player seating opposite to the Dummy, bid for a contract to construct a word of a minimum character length (game version A) or a minimum card count (game version B). For example, supposing North is Dummy, South bids for “2”, meaning a word of at least two characters long (game version A) or a word constructed with at least two cards (game version B), West raises to “3”, East raises to “4”, South passes and drops out of the bidding, West raises to “5”, and East passes and drops out of the bidding, West thus becoming the Declarer. The Declarer forms a Declarer partnership with the Dummy, for the playing of the current deal. The other two players form a Defending partnership, for the play of the current deal. Partners sit opposite to each other across the table, reseating for the play of the current deal as the situation may require. The Declarer examines the nest and my exchange any cards in the nest with any cards in his/her hand, one card for one card. The nest is not exposed to other players during the play of the deal. The Declarer scores 1 point for each card won by the Declarer partnership, and the Defending partnership scores none, if the Declarer successfully constructs a word with a character length (game version A) or card count (game version B) beyond the minimum character length (game version A) or card count (game version B) contracted. If the Declarer fails the contract, the Declarer scores none and each member of the Defending partnership scores 2 points for each card Defending partnership won in the playing of the deal. The Declarer's wining pile may be subject to examination and rearrangement by the Defending partnership, such as rearrangement of the winning pile into three parts, one part consisting of vowel cards, one part consonant cards, and one part special character cards, for convenience in monitoring the Declarer's winning pile. Each player has its own score record and scores the points scored by the player's partnership from the playing of a deal. The game is played in several deals and the scores from the playing of the several deals are added up for a final total score. The player with the highest final total score is the winner of the game.

Variation 4: Partnership play with bidding and contract for four players. Partners sit opposite to each other across the table. Each player is dealt a hand of twelve cards, the remaining six cards forming a nest at the center of the table unexposed. Clockwise each player starting from the player left to the dealer bids for a contract to construct a word of a minimum character length (game version A) or card count (game version B). The highest bidder is the Declarer and the Declarer's partnership is the Declarer partnership. The other player in the Declarer partnership becomes a Dummy and exposes his/her hand for the Declarer to examine and play. The Declarer partnership scores 1 point for each card won by the Declarer partnership, and the Defending partnership scores none, if the Declarer successfully constructs a word with a character length (game version A) or card count (game version B) beyond the minimum character length (game version A) or card count (game version B) contracted. If the Declarer fails the contract, the Declarer partnership scores none and the Defending partnership scores 2 points for each card the Defending partnership won in the playing of the deal. A partnership's wining pile may be subject to examination and rearrangement by the other partnership, such as rearrangement of the winning pile into three parts, one part consisting of vowel cards, one part consonant cards, and one part special character cards, for the purpose of monitoring the winning pile. The game is played in several deals and the scores from the playing of the several deals are added up for a final total score for each partnership. The partnership with the highest final total score is the winner of the game.

Other variant forms of the alphabet trick-taking game of the present invention, played with the Quokker playing cards, will be apparent to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure. The use of other suitable alphabet playing cards, blocks, or other planar alphabet playing pieces for playing the alphabet trick-taking game will also occur to those skilled in the gaming art, taught by the present disclosure.

In another class (II) embodiment of the present invention hereinafter sometimes referred to as the II(2) embodiment, the game is played by two to six game players, in a plurality of rounds, using ranked planer alphabet playing pieces, such as the alphabet playing cards or blocks of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention described hereinabove, and the playing mechanism for wining playing pieces is a novel playing mechanism hereinafter sometimes referred to as the pseudo trick-taking playing mechanism, of the present invention.

In a game of the II(2) embodiment, each player is dealt an even hand of playing pieces, such as twelve playing pieces, and the hand is played out in a plurality of pseudo trick-taking rounds. In certain embodiments of the II(2) game, one or two Dummies are included in the playing of the game.

In playing a pseudo trick-taking round called a “normal” round in a II(2) game, a player leads the round by playing out a single playing piece. Each of the other players, Dummy or Dummies included if present, taking a turn, in a clockwise or counter-clock wise manner, plays out a single playing piece, in a fashion similar to the playing of a trick-taking round in the II(1) trick-taking game. The playing pieces played out in the round by all players are ranked in accordance with a predetermined ranking rule. Unlike the II(1) trick-taking game, the playing pieces played out in a round in a pseudo trick-taking game are not automatically won by the player who played out the highest ranked playing piece. Instead, the playing pieces played out by all players in a round become part of a pool, out of which the player who first played out the highest ranked playing piece in the round is allowed to form a word and win the playing pieces forming the word. The winning of playing pieces from the pool by forming a word in such a manner is called herein “pseudo trick-taking”. Any playing pieces not won by the player in the pseudo trick-taking step in a round remain in the pool and are available for pseudo trick-taking in the subsequent round, unless the present round is the final round in the playing of the deal. If the present round is the final round in the playing of the deal, the playing pieces remaining in the pool after the pseudo trick-taking are usually ignored, or, in a variant form of the game, won by the player who played out the highest ranked playing piece in the final round. A few playing pieces, preferably not more than six playing pieces, called “seeds”, may be used to form an initial pool before the first round of the game. The player who played the highest ranked playing piece in a round leads the next round (if any).

In the playing of certain embodiments of the II(2) game, the lead player may also lead a pseudo trick-taking round by playing out two playing pieces, said to lead “twin”, or three playing pieces, said to lead “triple”. Each other player follows by playing out an identical number of playing pieces as the lead player in the round. The playing pieces played out by the players are ranked and the two highest ranked playing pieces in the playing of a twin round, or the three highest ranked playing pieces in the playing of a triple round, are identified. The player who played the highest ranked playing piece in a twin round or a triple round is allowed to take the first turn (or first right) for pseudo trick-taking from the pool. In a twin round, the player who played out the second highest ranked playing piece is allowed to take the second turn (or second right) for pseudo trick-taking from the pool, after the player who played out the highest ranked playing piece. In a triple round, a third turn (or third right) for pseudo trick-taking is given to the player who played out the third highest ranked playing piece in the round, after the player who played out the second highest ranked playing piece. A same player may have played out both the highest and the second highest ranked playing pieces in a twin round and will be allowed to take both the first and the second turns for pseudo trick-taking in that round. Similarly, in the playing of a triple round, a same player may have played out all of the three highest ranked playing pieces and will be allowed to take all of the three turns for pseudo trick-taking in the triple round. In a preferred manner, all playing pieces except the highest and the second highest playing pieces played out in a twin round, or the highest, the second highest, and the third highest playing pieces played out in a triple round, become part of the pool available for pseudo trick-taking. The highest and the second highest ranked playing pieces in a twin round, or the highest, the second highest, and the third highest ranked playing pieces in a triple round, are available for pseudo trick-taking, together with any playing pieces in the pool, only to the player who played out the respective highest ranked playing piece in that round. If the player who played out the respective highest ranked playing piece did not take the respective highest ranked playing piece in his/her turn of pseudo tricking-taking, the respective highest ranked playing piece immediately becomes part of the pool available for any subsequent pseudo trick-taking by any player or players.

In a basic form of the II(2) game, each player plays solo and only normal rounds are played. Two players with one or two Dummies, three players, three players with one Dummy, four players, five players, or six players, may play the game of the basic form. If a Dummy is used in the game, the Dummy's hand is played out in a random order, such as from the top of a pile of cards piled up in a random order, by a player next to the Dummy. A playing piece played out from a Dummy's hand is not considered in the ranking of playing pieces in a round, and a Dummy does not score.

In a variation of the basic form of the II(2) game, played by two players without Dummy, only twin or triple rounds are played, and the player who first played out the highest ranked piece is given a sole right for pseudo trick-taking.

In a further variation of the basic form of the II(2) game played by two to six players, preferably two to four players, the players play in partnerships of two and only normal rounds are played. For a two-player game, two Dummies are used, each player forming a partnership with a Dummy. For a three-player or five-player game, one Dummy is used, one of the players chosen by a random means such as by drawing forms a partnership with the Dummy, and the other two or four players form a partnership or two partnerships, each partnership consisting of two players sitting opposite to each other across the table. For four or six players, no Dummy is used. If a Dummy is used in the game, the Dummy's hand is exposed and played out by the Dummy's partner on behalf of the Dummy. A playing piece played out from a Dummy's hand participates in the ranking step of a round. If the playing piece from the Dummy's hand is ranked the highest in the round, the Dummy's partner plays the pseudo trick-taking step on behalf of the Dummy.

In a more advanced form of the II(2) game hereinafter sometimes called a game of “Restriction Quokker Bridge”, played by three or four players, the players are grouped into two competing partnerships, only normal rounds are played, and a bidding and contract round is played prior to the playing of the first pseudo trick-taking round. If the game is played by three players, one Dummy is used in the game. Each player, Dummy included, is dealt a hand of a same number of playing pieces. Odd playing pieces, i.e., playing pieces that cannot be evenly dealt out to the players, are laid face down at the center of the play table and form a nest. Upon examining the hand, each player, excluding Dummy, taking a turn announces “Pass”, a bid, “Double”, or “Redouble”, until all but one player announces “Pass”.

“Pass” means a disinclination to make a bid, “Double”, or “Redouble” at that time, as in a traditional Bridge game played with the traditional deck of playing cards.

A bid is a contract to win a certain number of playing pieces in the playing of the deal, naming a specified restriction on the length of a word that can be formed in the pseudo trick-taking step of a round. The number of playing pieces won in the playing of the deal is measured in numbers of tricks. A trick, for the purpose of a Restriction Quokker Bridge game, is any four playing pieces won. An incomplete trick, i.e., three playing pieces or less, does not count as a trick. A restriction on the length of a word may take one of the following forms: Long, Short, and Free. Long (L) means a word has to be constructed with six or more playing pieces. Short (S) means a word constructed with five or less playing pieces. Free (F) means no restrictions on the length of the word. In a preferred manner in the announcing of the bid, the number of tricks to win is expressed as number of odd tricks. Odd tricks are tricks won by one partnership, called the Declarer partnership, in excess of tricks won by the other, called the Defending partnership. Thus, in the present form of the II(2) game, a bid may be expressed as, for example, “2 Free”, meaning a contract to win at least two odd tricks (i.e., at least eight playing pieces more than the Opponent) with no restriction on the length of a word that can be constructed in a pseudo trick-taking step. Each bid must be higher than any preceding bid, either by naming a greater number of odd tricks or by naming the same number of odd tricks but with a higher ranked restriction. Restrictions may be ranked from low to high in the following order: Free, Long, and Short.

“Double” and “Redouble” have meanings same as or similar to the meanings in traditional Bridge games.

In a manner adopted from the traditional Bridge games, the player with the highest bid becomes the Declarer. In a game played by three players with one Dummy, the two players other than the Declarer forms the Defending partnership, the Declarer and the Dummy forms the Declarer partnership, and the players are reseated if necessary so that partners face each other across the table. The Dummy's hand is exposed by the Declarer and played out by the Declarer. In a four-player game, the two players sitting across the table are permanent partners, and the hand of the Declarer's partner becomes a Dummy's hand, exposed, and played out by the Declarer. The partnership of the Declarer and the Dummy becomes the Declarer partnership, and the other partnership becomes the Defending partnership, for the playing of the deal. In a four-player game, the Declarer's partner becomes a Dummy and exposes his/her hand for the Declarer to examine and play out.

In one form of the “Restriction Quokker Bridge” game, when the Declarer partnership leads, the Declarer may lead from either the Declarer's own hand or the Dummy's hand, at the Declarer's choice.

In another form of the “Restriction Quokker Bridge” game, the Declarer is always the player leading a round, either by playing out a playing piece or pieces from his/her own hand or from his/her Dummy partner's hand, at his/her choice.

The Declarer may also exchange the playing pieces in the nest with any playing pieces, one for one, from the Declarer's hand, prior to the playing of the first pseudo trick-taking round after the bidding round. The nest is then exposed and becomes part of the pool.

The score calculation methods of the traditional Bridge games may be adopted for score calculation in the playing of the Quokker Bridge game of the present II(2) embodiment of the invention.

In another advanced form of the II(2) game, hereinafter sometimes called a game of “Multi-way Quokker Bridge”, played preferably with the 52-core equipment playing pieces of a standardized set of planar playing pieces having FIG. 2, 4, or 5 indicia designation designs, with or without the two Super Wild character playing pieces, by three or four players, each player is dealt twelve playing pieces, the players are grouped into two competing partnerships, a round may be a normal, a twin, or a triple round, and a bidding and contract round is played prior to the playing of the first pseudo trick-taking round. If the game is played by three players, one Dummy is used in the game and the Dummy is dealt a hand of twelve playing pieces as well. The four or six remaining playing pieces are laid face down at the center of the table to form a nest. Upon examining the hand, each player, excluding Dummy, taking a turn announces “Pass”, a bid, “Double”, or “Redouble”, until all but one player announces “Pass”, as in the playing of a Restriction Quokker Bridge game. A bid is as in a Restriction Quokker Bridge game, except that the restrictions are placed on the type of rounds that are allowed in the playing of the deal, e.g., normal, twin, or triple round, or mixed form, rather than on the length of a word. A normal, twin, or triple round is played as described hereinabove. Mixed form means no restriction on the types of rounds that may be played. The restrictions may be ranked for the bidding purpose from low to high as follows: mixed, triple, twin, and normal. Other aspects of the game are the same as in the Restriction Quokker Bridge game.

FIG. 6 is an illustration of a game set up for a four-player partnership playing of a II(2) game, played with non-suited alphabet playing blocks having FIG. 2 indicia designation designs.

Referring to FIG. 6, the four players sit at North, South, East, and West, respectively, partners sitting across the table facing each other, i.e., North and South as one team, and East and West as another. Referring to FIG. 6, at the particular point of the game illustrated, there is shown each player having nine playing blocks left in hand (280 for North, 281 East, 282 South, and 283 West). There is shown a pool 290 at the center of the table. The pool 290 at the current point of the game consists of five playing blocks 291, 292, 293, 294, and 295 bearing indicia means displaying and representing the English alphabet letters of “W”, “T”, “R”, “O”, and the special character “Repeat”, respectively. There are also shown a winning pile 288 for North-South (We), and a winning pile 289 for East-West (They). Each player has played out a single block 284, 285, 286, and 287, for the current round, which is seen a normal round, following lead by North. North takes the pseudo-trick because North played a piece “A-14” 284 ranking the highest in the round by way of its highest point value of “14”. North currently has at least two choices of pseudo trick-taking, i.e., taking the playing pieces 284, 285, 286, and 287, which forms a word “LAZY”, where the letter “Y” is represented by the Wild character playing piece 286, or taking the playing pieces 292, 293, 284, 286, and 285, which forms a word “TRAIL”, where the letter “I” is represented by the Wild character playing piece 286. The playing pieces won by a member of a partnership go into the partnership's winning pile (288 for North-South or “We” and 289 for East-West or “They”). After the last playing piece is played out of the hand, the number of playing pieces won by each team is counted and a score is calculated.

The game set up illustrated in FIG. 6 is for a partnership play. It is understood that, in a solo play, where each player plays for himself/herself, additional wining piles will be present in the set up so that each player has his/her own winning pile.

In yet another class (II) embodiment of the present invention hereinafter sometimes referred to as the II(3) embodiment, the game is played by two players using numerically ranked alphabet playing cards, such as the alphabet playing cards of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention described hereinabove. A plurality of the alphabet playing cards, preferably twelve to twenty five in number, is dealt out as a common hand, placed face up on the playing table and arranged in a single, partially overlapped pile following the (random) order the cards are dealt out. The playing mechanism for wining playing pieces is simply a choice of the first one, two, or three cards that a player taking a turn must choose to pick up from the top of the pile, without disturbing the sequence of the cards in the pile. When all of the cards in the pile are picked up by the players, a player constructs a word or words out of the cards the player picked up. A player scores the sum of the numerical point values of the cards forming the word or words but must surrender any cards, called “dead woods”, not used in forming the word or words, to the opponent player. The numerical rank values of any dead woods from the opponent player are added to a player's final score. A card may not be used in more than one word. A word must be at least two characters long. The player with a higher score in the playing of a deal is the winner for the deal. The winner for a deal deals the next hand and takes the second turn in the playing of the next deal. The game is typically played in several deals and the scores from the playing of the several deals are added together at the end of the playing of the last deal for a final total score. The player with a higher final total score is the winner of the game.

For reasons apparent from the descriptions above, the particular form of the II(3) game described may be called a game of “Wood Picker” herein.

In a variant form of the above described II(3) Wood Picker game, three or four players may play the game. The common hand dealt out to the playing table contains additional cards, in total preferably about ten cards per each player participating in the game. The common hand may be arranged in several partially overlapped piles, such as three overlapped piles, or into a pyramid arrangement. The sequential order of the cards in each pile or the pyramid arrangement substantially reflects the order in which the cards are dealt out. Players taking turns choose to pick up from the top of the piles, or the bottom of the pyramid, one, two, or three cards, without disturbing the sequence of the cards in each pile or the pyramid. The exact number of cards picked up and the choice of cards are up to the player taking the turn picking up the card or cards. When all of the cards in the piles or the pyramid are picked up by the players, each player constructs a word or words out of the cards the player picked up. A player scores the sum of the numerical rank values of the cards forming the word or words but must deduct from the score the numerical point values of any cards, i.e. dead woods, that are not used in forming the word or words.

In yet further variant forms of the II(3) game played by two or three players, the entire deck of alphabet playing cards is dealt out as the common hand, and arranged into several partially overlapped piles such as three partially overlapped piles, or a pyramid arrangement. Players taking turns pick up cards from the top of the piles, or from the bottom of the pyramid, without disturbing the sequence of the cards in the piles, or the pyramid. A player taking a turn must pick up one card and may pick up any number of additional cards, the exact number of cards and the choice of the cards picked up being up to the player. The player may construct one word with all or some of the cards he/she picked up at the turn and win the cards forming the word for his/her score pile, any card or cards picked up but not used in the construction of the word becoming part of a penalty pile for the player. After all of the cards of the common hand are picked up by the players, the number of cards in each player's score pile and in each player's penalty pile are counted. A net number of cards won by each player is calculated by subtracting the number of cards in the player's penalty pile from the number of cards in the player's score pile. A score is assigned to each player for the playing of the deal, or a winner is declared, based on the net number of cards won by each player.

An example of the II(3) Wood Picker game played by two players using non-suited alphabet playing cards having FIG. 2 alphabet character and numerical indicia designs is illustrated in FIG. 7.

Referring to FIG. 7, there are shown twelve cards 201 to 212, dealt out as a common hand and arranged face up into a partially overlapped pile 220. Suppose player number one takes the first turn picking up the cards 212 and 211, from the top of the pile 220. Player number two takes the second turn picking up the cards 210 and 209. Next, player number one picks up the cards 208, 207, and 206, next, player number two the cards 205, 204, and 203, next, player number one the card 202, and finally, player number two the card 201. Now player number one has six cards 212, 211, 208, 207, 206, and 202 and player number two six cards 210, 209, 205, 204, 203, and 201. Player number one constructs a word “VEX” with cards 202, 207, and 208, and another word “BOO” with cards 212, 206, and 211, leaving no cards unused and thus no dead woods to surrender to player number two. Player number two constructs one word “QUACK” using cards 210, 205, 201, 204, and 203, and surrenders to player number one the card 209 as dead wood, which player number two failed to use in constructing a word. The word “VEX” player number one constructs with the cards 202, 207, and 208 has a total point value of twenty nine (29). The word “BOO” player number one constructs with the cards 212, 206, and 211 has a total point value of twenty one (21). The dead wood card 209 from player number two has a point value of ten (10). Added together, the point values for player number one come to a total of sixty (60), which is the score for player number one. Player number two scores only the total point value of the word “QUACK” that player number two constructs with the cards 210, 205, 201, 204, and 203, calculated at twenty six (26).

The Third Class (III) of Preferred Embodiments

The third class of preferred embodiments, or class (III) preferred embodiments, of the present invention, as described hereinbelow, discloses in detail and by way of example the alphabet puzzle games of the present invention. The alphabet puzzle games of the present invention may sometimes be referred to herein as “games of the third class of the embodiments”, or “class (III) games”. A game, or games, of a particular embodiment of the third class, may be further referred to as a “III(x) game”, or “III(x) games”, where the “x” in the parenthesis is an Arabic numeral denoting the membership number of the particular member of the class (III) embodiments.

The games of the class (III) embodiments of the present invention are played with planner alphabet playing pieces such as alphabet playing cards that have rear faces indistinguishable from one another and front faces bearing character indicia suitable for constructing and displaying words, phrases, or sentences. The indicia means of each of the planner alphabet playing pieces comprises character indicia displaying an alphabet character, preferably in a upright orientation and located at the center of the front face, such as the center character indicia 71 of card 27 illustrated in FIG. 1.

In accordance with a first member of the third class of the preferred embodiments of the present invention, or the III(1) embodiment, there is provided an alphabet puzzle game herein sometimes called a game of “Table Puzzle” that shares certain desirable features and advantages with the Wheel of Fortune TV puzzle game, and also has its own features and advantages including, for example, the playability in a much simpler setting than the TV game. A game of Table Puzzle of the present invention is played by two to four players, preferably using numerically ranked planner alphabet playing pieces, such as the alphabet playing cards, blocks, tiles, or chips of the I(4) embodiment of the present invention described hereinabove.

Referring to FIGS. 8 a and 8 b, there is shown a game set up for a III(1) Table Puzzle game, played by four players using alphabet playing cards having FIG. 2 indicia designation designs.

In the playing of the instant III(1) Table Puzzle game, one of the four players is designated as a puzzle host player, shown as an oval symbol 250 in FIGS. Sa and 8 b, and the other three players the puzzle solving players, shown in FIGS. 8 a and 8 b as oval symbols 251, 252, and 253. The puzzle host player 250 faces the puzzle solving players 251, 252, and 253 across the playing table. The puzzle host player 250 constructs a word, phrase, sentence, or cross-word grid (the puzzle), secret to the puzzle solving players, using alphabet playing cards. The puzzle host player 250 then places the alphabet playing cards face down on the playing table and arrange the cards to form the word, phrase, sentence, or cross-word puzzle, taking care to keep the puzzle and the identity of each card secret from the puzzle solving players. Each of the puzzle solving players 251, 252, and 253 then taking a turn chooses one of the puzzle alphabet playing cards, by pointing to the location of the puzzle alphabet playing card, and asks the puzzle host player 250 to flip it over to reveal its playing face. The puzzle solving player taking the turn requesting the revealing of the card is rewarded, or pays a penalty, depending on the indicia designation of the playing face of the playing card that the player requested to be revealed. For example, the puzzle solving player may be rewarded a number of score points corresponding to the numerical point value (e.g., 261 b) of the card revealed, or loses a given number of score points if the card revealed is a Wild or Repeat character card (e.g., 274 or 264). At any time a puzzle solving player may announce a solution to the puzzle, i.e., the identity of the word, phrase, sentence, or cross-word. A correct solution to the puzzle causes a reward to the player announcing the solution and ends the game. An incorrect solution announced causes a penalty to the player announcing the solution and the game continues. The playing continues until one of the puzzle solving players announces a correct solution to the puzzle. In FIG. 8 a, at the particular time point of the game illustrated, the cards 261, 264, 266, 267, 269, 270, 272, 273, 274, and 276, of the puzzle 230, are seen already flipped over and the cards 260, 262, 263, 265, 268, 271, 275, 277, and 278 are seen still to be revealed.

In FIG. 8 b there is shown the game set up of FIG. 8 a after all of the cards are flipped over, displaying the puzzle sentence, which is the English sentence “WE'LL ENJOY THE GAME”. Note that the Super Wild character card 262 in FIG. 8 b is intended by the puzzle host player to represent an apostrophe symbol, in accordance with the strict use Super Wild character rule of the class (I) embodiments of the present invention, the Wild character card 274 a letter “E”, in accordance with the strict use Wild character rule of the class (I) embodiments of the present invention, and the Repeat character card 264 a letter “L”, in accordance with the use of Repeat character playing faces described under embodiments of the first class (I) herein.

In another class (III) embodiment of the present invention, a game of “Seven Lives” is provided for playing by two players using alphabet playing cards, such as alphabet playing cards of FIG. 1 playing face design and FIG. 2 indicia designation designs. In a game of Seven Lives, one of the two players is a puzzle host player and the other player a puzzle solving player. The two players face each other across a playing table. The puzzle host player constructs a word, phrase, sentence, or cross-word grid, secret to the puzzle solving player, using some of the alphabet playing cards. The puzzle host player arranges the alphabet playing cards forming the secret word, phrase, sentence, or crossword grid on the playing table face down, taking care not to reveal the identity of any of the cards forming the puzzle to the puzzle solving player. The puzzle-solving player in one or more attempts guesses what the word, phrase, sentence, or cross-word grid is. For each failed attempt, the puzzle-solving player loses one “life” (meaning one failed attempt). For each seven lives lost, one of the puzzle alphabet playing cards, at the puzzle host player's choice, is flipped over by the puzzle host player. The puzzle-solving player is then given another round of attempts. The play continues until the puzzle is correctly solved or until all cards are flipped over. At the end of the game, the total number of lives lost before the puzzle is solved is calculated and the puzzle-solving player is said to have taken so and so many lives to find out what the puzzle host player had in mind. In a convenient manner, the puzzle host player uses seven of the cards that are not used in constructing the puzzle as counters and holds them in the hand. One counter card is laid down for each life lost by the puzzle-solving player, until all seven cards are laid down. The seven counter cards are then picked up again for the next round of guessing attempts. To shorten the duration of the game involving a long sentence puzzle, or a puzzle difficult for the puzzle-solving player to solve, the puzzle host player may flip over one or more of the puzzle alphabet playing cards before the guessing initially starts. At anytime during the game, the puzzle host player may also voluntarily flip over one or more of the puzzle alphabet playing cards to shorten the duration of the game.

It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent from the preceding description, are efficiently attained, and since certain changes may be made in the above constructions of the game equipment and the method of playing the games, including other embodiments, other preferred modes or forms, and other variations, without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative only, and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7344137 *Mar 25, 2004Mar 18, 2008Jason LokeAlphabet challenge deck
US7410170 *Jun 26, 2006Aug 12, 2008Hasbro, Inc.Game having an electronic instruction unit
US8628394 *Mar 1, 2012Jan 14, 2014Disney Enterprises, Inc.Strategic slide mechanic for replacing tiles in word games
US20110309578 *Mar 15, 2011Dec 22, 2011Markman Holdings, LlcHigh Roll Dice Casino Table Game
WO2007106927A1 *Mar 15, 2007Sep 27, 2007Donoghoe Margaret MaryWord game and methods of conducting same
WO2013165910A1 *Apr 29, 2013Nov 7, 2013Severance JoanCommunication game kit and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/292, 273/299, 273/146, 273/304
International ClassificationA63F9/00, A63F3/00, A63F9/04, A63F1/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F1/04, A63F3/00529, A63F2001/0466, A63F2009/0486, A63F9/0098
European ClassificationA63F1/04, A63F9/00W