|Publication number||US20070216092 A1|
|Application number||US 11/428,258|
|Publication date||Sep 20, 2007|
|Filing date||Jun 30, 2006|
|Priority date||Mar 15, 2006|
|Also published as||CN101437586A, CN101437586B, DE602006021769D1, EP1940523A2, EP1940523B1, WO2007106166A1, WO2007106166A8|
|Publication number||11428258, 428258, US 2007/0216092 A1, US 2007/216092 A1, US 20070216092 A1, US 20070216092A1, US 2007216092 A1, US 2007216092A1, US-A1-20070216092, US-A1-2007216092, US2007/0216092A1, US2007/216092A1, US20070216092 A1, US20070216092A1, US2007216092 A1, US2007216092A1|
|Original Assignee||Bally Gaming, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (15), Classifications (6), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/782,492 filed Mar. 15, 2006.
1. Field of the Invention
This description generally relates to the field of table gaming, and more particularly to card holding devices, for example card shoes that hold a number of cards during a playing card game and allow cards to be extracted from the card shoe one at a time.
2. Description of the Related Art
Conventional card shoes are typically sized to receive two to eight standard decks of playing cards, with fifty-two (52) playing cards per standard playing card deck. Such card shoes are used during professional card games (e.g., casino blackjack, poker, Texas Hold'em etc) so as to allow a dealer to readily extract cards during a fast paced card game.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,402,142 shows one card shoe configuration that includes a housing having an opening formed at a front of the housing from which playing cards can be extracted. The housing may include a playing card support surface sloping at a downward angle from a rear to the front of the housing, which is capable of supporting several standard decks of playing cards. The card shoe may include a playing card wedge, with a sloped face to contact and offset the playing cards in the housing relative one another.
The wedge may optionally include a roller that allows the wedge to easily move down the playing card support surface. The playing cards are compressed between the sloped face of the playing card wedge and the front of the housing, which may also be sloped. The downward angle of the playing card support surface employs gravity to bias the playing cards toward the front of the housing under their own weight, as well as under the weight of the playing card wedge. As playing cards are removed, the weight biasing the remaining playing cards toward the front of the housing decreases. Hence, there is less resistance to the finger pressure applied by the dealer as the dealer attempts to remove a playing card from the housing. This makes it difficult for the dealer to establish sufficient friction or “purchase” with the playing card to remove the playing card. This also disadvantageously tends to push the playing cards into the housing.
Another type of card shoe is similar to the above-described card shoe, but includes one or more springs that couple the playing card wedge to the housing. The springs operate alone, or in conjunction with the force of gravity, to bias the playing card wedge toward the opening in the housing. As the playing card wedge moves closer to the opening, the springs contribute appreciably less to the overall force biasing the playing card wedge toward the opening. The biasing force of the springs becomes negligible before all the playing cards are removed from the card shoe. For example, negligible spring force may occur when there are less than two decks (i.e., 104 playing cards) remaining in the card shoe. Consequently, there is little or no resistance to the finger pressure applied by the dealer as the dealer attempts to remove a playing card from the housing. This makes it difficult for the dealer to establish sufficient friction or “purchase” with the playing card to remove the playing card. This also disadvantageously tends to push the playing cards into the housing.
As illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 6,402,142, the card shoe may include a detent mechanism that holds the card wedge at the back of the housing to facilitate refilling the housing with playing cards. After filling, the dealer must grab and exert force (e.g., pull, push, lift) on the wedge to disengage the wedge from the detent mechanism. The lack of gripping surfaces and the close proximity of the wedge to the back of the housing when in the locked position such that fingers cannot be inserted therebetween makes this task exceedingly difficult and time consuming, particularly during a fast paced card game.
Accordingly, it would be desirable to have a card shoe that provides easier and smoother removal of each card from the card shoe, regardless of the number of playing cards remaining in the card shoe, in addition to quick and easy refilling of the card shoe.
An additional problem typical of conventional card shoes is withdrawal of more than one playing card at a time. This may be accidental, for example, due to adjacent playing cards becoming stuck together, or may be intentional where a dealer is attempting to cheat. It would be advantageous to reduce or prevent such from happening in either circumstance.
According to one aspect, an anti-reversing clutch assembly locks onto the roller and may prevent the wedge from rolling back into the card shoe as the dealer applies finger pressure to remove the card from the wedge.
According to one aspect, a card shoe includes a housing forming a receptacle sized to receive a plurality of playing cards, the housing having a sloped front face, an opening formed in the front face, the opening sized to allow the withdrawal of playing cards from the receptacle, a card support surface proximate a bottom of the opening, and at least one protuberance extending upward from the card support surface, the protuberance proximate the opening of the front face of the housing such that playing cards pass over the protuberance when the playing cards are withdrawn from the receptacle through the opening.
According to another aspect, the card shoe includes a housing forming a receptacle sized to receive a plurality of playing cards, the housing having a top and a sloped front face, an opening formed in the front face, the opening sized to allow the withdrawal of playing cards from the receptacle, and an anti-backsliding protrusion extending generally downwardly from at least proximate the top and positioned within the receptacle proximate the front face of the housing, wherein the anti-backsliding protrusion engages a portion of at least one playing card when the playing card is biased toward a back of the housing under force exerted by a dealer removing at least one of the playing cards from the housing.
According to another aspect, the card shoe includes a housing forming a receptacle sized to receive a plurality of playing cards, the housing having a sloped front face, an opening formed in the front face, the opening sized to allow the withdrawal of playing cards from the receptacle, a wedge block having a bottom surface and a card engagement surface positioned at an angle relative to the bottom surface, the wedge block received in the receptacle of the housing to bias the playing cards toward the front face of the housing, and a lever pivotally mounted to selectively bias the wedge away from a back of the housing.
In the drawings, identical reference numbers identify similar elements or acts. The sizes and relative positions of elements in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. For example, the shapes of various elements and angles are not drawn to scale, and some of these elements are arbitrarily enlarged and positioned to improve drawing legibility. Further, the particular shapes of the elements as drawn, are not intended to convey any information regarding the actual shape of the particular elements, and have been solely selected for ease of recognition in the drawings.
In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the invention. However, one skilled in the art will understand that the embodiments may be practiced without these details. In other instances, well-known structures associated with card shoes have not been shown or described in detail to avoid unnecessarily obscuring the description.
Unless the context requires otherwise, throughout the specification and claims which follow, the word “comprise” and variations thereof, such as, “comprises” and “comprising” are to be construed in an open, inclusive sense, that is as “including, but not limited to.”
Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment. Thus, the appearances of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combinable in any suitable manner in one or more embodiments.
The headings provided herein are for convenience only and do not interpret the scope or meaning of the claimed invention.
This description generally relates to card shoes for holding and distributing playing cards during a playing card game. Card shoes are generally used in casinos and often hold between two (2) to eight (8) decks of playing cards. However, it is understood that some card shoes may hold a fewer or a greater number of playing cards. Further, some card shoes may be automated, employing electro-mechanical and/or electro-optical components to read machine-readable and/or human readable indicia carried by the playing cards, and/or to shuffle, randomize or sort playing cards.
The housing 2 includes a playing card support surface 6, sidewalls 8 and a front cover 10. The playing card support surface 6, the sidewalls 8, and the front cover 10 forming a receptacle 11 configured to receive and support a number of playing cards 21. The playing card support surface 6 may or may not slope downward from a rear 3 of the housing 2 toward the front cover 10. As noted above, a sloped surface may take advantage of gravity as the sole or partial biasing force that urges the playing cards toward the opening 12 of the housing 2. The card shoe 1 a, 1 b may include a cover 9 that is movably coupled to the housing 2, for example pivotally coupled along an edge 7 of the housing 2. The cover 9 can be lifted to allow for the loading of the plurality of cards 21 and then closed thereafter to conceal the plurality of cards 21. In the event that the card shoe 1 a, 1 b is used during a blackjack game, the cover 9 may prevent card players from estimating the number of playing cards 21 remaining in the card shoe 1 a, 1 b.
The front cover 10 includes the opening 12 from which a dealer can extract the playing cards 21 from the card shoe 1 a, 1 b. The opening 12 is sized to allow the dealer to place one or more fingers onto the next (i.e., outermost) playing card that is to be removed from the card shoe 1 a, 1 b. The playing card support surface 6 can cooperate with the front cover 10 to skew or otherwise offset the playing cards relative to one another, which tends to increase the likelihood that playing cards 21 are extracted one at a time from the card shoe 1 a, 1 b.
It is understood that sometimes, however, more than one playing card may be extracted from the card shoe 1 a, 1 b, whether done intentionally in order to cheat or unintentionally because two playing cards become stuck together. The movement of the playing cards 21 over the one or more protuberances effectively un-sticks or separates the top playing card from the underlying playing card or cards during the extraction, thereby facilitating the extraction of only one playing card at a time from the card shoe 1 a, 1 b.
The one or more protuberances 15 extend generally upwardly from the support surface 6 or metal plate, proximate a bottom of the opening 12. The protuberances 15 are proximate the opening 12 of the front face 10 such that the outermost or front most playing card 21 passes over the protuberance 15 and is withdrawn from the receptacle 11 while the underlying card(s) is separated from the outermost playing card 21 by the protuberances 15. Thus, the protuberances 15 allow for the card dealer to extract a single card at a time from the plurality of playing cards 21.
The protuberances 15 may take the form of a bump or any such hemispherical shape. The one or more protuberances 15 may be selectively arranged in the form of a first and second protuberance (collectively referenced as 15) laterally spaced across the opening 12 with a spacing therebetween that is less than or equal to the length of each of the playing cards 21.
The housing 2 may further include one or more slots or tracks 14. The track 14 can be sloped or otherwise configured to cause the wedge assembly 4 to move forward, toward the opening 12. One or more springs 16 (only one illustrated) may be coupled to guides 17, 19 received in the track 14. The guides 17 may be fixed to the housing 2, whereas the guides 19 couple the wedge assembly 4 to the spring 16 and are operable to move along the track 14. In one embodiment, the spring 16 is an extension spring anchored proximate the front of the housing 2 that biases or urges the wedge assembly 4 toward the opening 12. In another embodiment, the spring 16 is a compression spring anchored proximate the rear of the housing 2 that biases or urges the wedge assembly 4 toward the opening 12.
The shaft 28 includes a tool engagement portion 30 and a shaft centerline or axis 32. It is understood and appreciated that the shaft centerline 32 is to be distinguished from a roller rotational centerline or axis 33. The roller rotational axis 33 is lower than the shaft centerline 32 since the roller 24 extends below the bottom surface 5 of the wedge 4. During operation, the roller 24 and portions of the clutch assembly 26 rotate in unison on the shaft 28 and about the roller rotational axis 33. In the illustrated embodiment, the shaft 28 does not rotate relative to the wedge assembly 4.
As the dealer removes each playing card, the biasing force of the spring 16, the weight of the wedge assembly 4 and/or the weight of the playing cards 21 urges the wedge 4 toward the front cover 10. As the dealer applies pressure to the next card to be removed, the anti-reversing clutch assembly 26 positively locks onto the shaft 28 to substantially prevent reverse rotation of the roller 24 and thus prevents the wedge assembly 4 from moving away from the front cover 4 and the opening 12 of the housing 2.
The card shoe 1 c is similar in many respects to the card shoes 1 a, 1 b of
The anti-backsliding protrusion 35 generally extends downward from at least proximate the top of the housing 2 and positioned within the receptacle 11 proximate the front face 12. The anti-backsliding protrusion 35 effectively prevents the card 21 from backsliding into the receptacle 11 and hampering the dealer's ability to extract the playing card 21.
The anti-backsliding protrusion 35 may be of several types of rigid or non-rigid material. The protrusion 35 engages a portion of at least one playing card 21 when the playing card 21 is biased toward a back of the housing 2. The anti-backsliding protrusion 35 substantially prevents the outermost (proximate the opening 12) playing card 21 or playing cards 21 from sliding rearward toward the back 3 of the housing 2 in response to an applied force by the dealer. The card 21 can backslide up until the point within the receptacle that the protrusion 35 extends from, which is positioned close enough to the opening to allow for easy access during extraction.
The card shoe 1 d includes the housing 2, similar in some respects to that illustrated in
When all the desired playing cards 21 are removed from the card shoe 1 d, the wedge 4 can be reset and retained toward the rear 3 of the housing 2 so that another set of playing cards 21 may be readily loaded into the receptacle 11. The wedge 4 may be slightly lifted so that the roller 24 does not contact the support surface 6, and then slid away from the front cover 10 towards the rear 3 of the housing 2 until the guides 19 are locked into position by the locking mechanism 39 such as a detent mechanism. In one embodiment, the locking mechanism 39 is formed by a moderate upward sloping portion 40 of the track 14 followed by a sharp downward sloping portion 42. Once the wedge assembly 4 is locked into position, the playing cards 21 may be loaded into the receptacle 11 of the card shoe 1 d. Locking the wedge assembly 4 before loading the playing cards 21 into the receptacle 11 frees one of the dealer's hands from otherwise holding the wedge 4 in place. Thus, the dealer is able to grasp the set of playing cards 21 with both hands and reload the playing cards 21 into the receptacle 11 with ease.
The lever 37 has a first end 44 and a second end 46 and is pivotally mounted proximate the rear 3 of the housing 2. The lever 37 is operable to selectively bias the wedge 4 away from the rear 3 of the housing 2 to disengage the locking mechanism 29. The lever 37 engages at least a portion of the wedge 4, for example a back of the wedge 4 opposite the sloped surface 18 and forces the guide 19 forward. The guide 19 slides up the downward sloping portion 42 of the track 17. The card dealer may exert force onto the second end 42 to cause the first end 46 to provide enough force to overcome the locking mechanism 39. Once the guides 19 of the wedge assembly 4 overcome the downward sloping portion 42, the biasing force of the spring 16 takes over to cause the wedge 4 to bias the plurality of cards 21 loaded into the receptacle 11 toward the front cover 10.
The various embodiments described above can be combined to provide further embodiments. All of the above U.S. patents, patent applications, provisional patent applications and publications referred to in this specification, to include, but not limited to U.S. Patent Application No. 60/782,492, filed Mar. 15, 2006; and U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,994,377; 3,993,177; 3,993,176; 3,990,555; 3,972,573; 3,942,616; 3,937,312; and 3,937,311 are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety. Aspects of the invention can be modified, if necessary, to employ various systems, devices and concepts of the various patents, applications and publications to provide yet further embodiments of the invention.
These and other changes can be made to the invention in light of the above-detailed description. In general, in the following claims, the terms used should not be construed to limit the invention to the specific embodiments disclosed in the specification and the claims, but should be construed to include all card shoes usable in the aspect of gaming and methods that operate in accordance with the claims. Accordingly, the invention is not limited by the disclosure, but instead its scope is to be determined entirely by the following claims.
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|US9005034||Apr 30, 2008||Apr 14, 2015||Bally Gaming, Inc.||Systems and methods for out-of-band gaming machine management|
|US20100013152 *||Jan 21, 2010||Attila Grauzer||Ergonomic Card Delivery Shoe|
|US20130228971 *||Mar 2, 2012||Sep 5, 2013||Daryl Flynn||Card shoe|
|US20140091523 *||Jun 1, 2012||Apr 3, 2014||The United States Playing Card Company||Device to Secure the Mouth of a Playing Card Shoe|
|WO2012167004A2 *||Jun 1, 2012||Dec 6, 2012||The United States Playing Card Company||Device to secure the mouth of a playing card shoe|
|U.S. Classification||273/149.00R, 273/148.00R|
|International Classification||A63F9/00, A63F1/12|
|Aug 29, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: BALLY GAMING, INC., NEVADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:FLECKENSTEIN, ALLEN;REEL/FRAME:018186/0821
Effective date: 20060801