US 20080093800 A1
A card dealing structure that is preferably handheld and allows a user to manually advance a top card from a supply of cards provided in a recess of the structure. The user advances the top card to a card dispensing slot. A rotatable drive member in the card dispensing slot is activated to eject the card through the dispensing slot. Preferably the rotatable drive member is a foam wheel that allows some slippage of a card if the user exerts a drag force. Preferably, the user, by exerting a drag force, can control the speed of the ejected card. In addition, by being handheld, the angle of ejection can be used to aim the ejected card and indirectly control speed, as well as the orientation of the ejected card when it comes to rest.
1. A card dealing structure comprising a card supply recess sized to receive a deck of cards therein, card guide surface for guiding an advanced card of the deck of cards to a card dispensing slot when the advanced card is manually advanced by a user, a rotatable drive member located in said card dispensing slot for engaging said advanced card and ejecting the advanced card out of said card slot; said card dispensing slot cooperating with said card guide surface to separate only the advanced card from the deck of cards as the advanced card is manually advanced to said card dispensing slot, and a motor for driving said rotatable drive member.
2. A card dealing structure as claimed in
3. A card dealing structure as claimed in
4. A card dealing structure as claimed in
5. A card dealing structure as claimed in
6. A card dealing structure as claimed in
7. A card dealing structure as claimed in
8. A card dealing structure as claimed in
9. A card dealing structure as claimed in
10. A card dealing structure as claimed in
11. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
12. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
13. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
14. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
15. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
16. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
17. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
18. A card dealing arrangement as claimed in
19. A card dealing device comprising a card receiving cavity for receiving a supply of cards; a card drive arrangement located at one of said card receiving cavity positioned to receive a card advanced thereto from said supply of cards; said card drive arrangement including a rotatable drive member associated with a card dispensing slot through which advanced cards are ejected; said drive arrangement including an electric drive for rotating said drive member; and wherein said card receiving cavity includes a card guide surface forming a transition between said card receiving cavity and said card drive arrangement; said card guide surface causing a card being advanced from said card supply cavity to separate from said card supply and enter said drive arrangement and be ejected through said card dispensing slot.
20. A card dealing device as claimed in
The present application is directed to a handheld card dealing arrangement that includes a motor for receiving a card from a card supply and accelerating the card through a card slot of the card dealing arrangement.
Card games have always been popular and many of these card games are based on the standard 52 card deck. There have been numerous arrangements that shuffle a deck of cards that include a mechanism for dealing of the cards to the various players. Typically, these shuffling and card dealing arrangements are relatively large and are designed to receive one or more card decks, shuffle the cards and subsequently deal the cards using a card delivery mechanism. These units are relatively large and heavy, and are supported on a table surface. Some of these units have been designed for non commercial use, however, they tend to be relatively large, bulky, and expensive.
In recent times, various games of poker have become extremely popular and there are a host of websites or computer simulations available for players to play. Much of the entertainment and excitement associated with poker is playing against other players, however, there is always the potential issue of cheating with respect to the dealing of the cards. Some poker players are extremely skilled with respect to the shuffling and dealing of the cards, and it is most difficult for players to recognize when a card has not been fairly dealt. As this ability to improperly deals cards is an acquired skill, and one which is extremely difficult to prove, mechanical shufflers and dealing arrangements have some merit. Most of the cheating associated with cards occurs during the dealing of the cards.
There remains a need for a simple card dealing arrangement that is handheld and easy to use.
A card dealing structure according to the present invention comprises a card supply recess sized to receive a deck of cards therein, a card dispensing slot adjacent a predispensing position for engaging a user manually advanced card from the card supply recess to the predispensing position with the advanced card being engaged by a rotatable drive member of the card dispensing slot. The card dispensing slot includes a card limiting structure that separates the advanced card from the deck of cards as the advanced card is manually advanced for engagement with the rotatable drive and ejecting of the advanced card through the dispensing slot. A motor drives the rotatable drive member.
In a preferred aspect of the invention, the card dealing structure is handheld to dispense cards.
In a further aspect of the invention, the rotatable drive member is a foam wheel.
In a preferred aspect of the invention, the foam wheel is resiliently compressed as a card is dispensed through said slot.
In a further aspect of the invention, the rotatable drive member allows slippage of a card being dispensed in accordance with a drag force exerted by a user on the card during the dispensing thereof to vary the dispensing speed of the card as it leaves the dispensing slot.
In a different aspect of the invention, the card supply recess is primarily open on a top surface thereof and is closed on two sides and one end with an opposite end of said supply recess including a transition surface for guiding a manually advanced card for engagement with said rotatable drive member.
According to an aspect of the invention, the card bias arrangement dealing structure includes a card that cooperates with the card supply recess to adjust the level of the deck of cards consistently within a height of the card supply recess. Preferably the bias arrangement is a scissor structure.
According to a further aspect of the invention, the scissor structure extends in the length of the card supply recess and supports cards retained in the recess along the length of the cards.
In a different aspect of the invention, the foam drive member has a periphery immediately adjacent an opposed fixed member with a dispensed card passing therebetween. The foam drive member compresses to accommodate, engage and accelerate a card as it is passing between the fixed member and the foam drive member. Preferably, the fixed member is part of the housing of the card dealing arrangement.
In a further aspect of the invention, the motor includes a low voltage battery supply.
In a preferred aspect of the invention, the arrangement includes a card sensing arrangement positioned to sense a card being manually advanced by a user to the rotatable drive member. The card sensing arrangement is connected to the motor for initiating the motor when a card is sensed.
In a further aspect of the invention, the arrangement includes a timing circuit for maintaining the operation of the motor for a predetermined time period after a card has been sensed.
In a further aspect of the invention, the card sensing arrangement is a microswitch that is activated by a card being manually moved to the dispensing slot.
Preferred embodiments of the invention are shown in the drawings, wherein:
The card dealing arrangement 2 as shown in the Figures, receives a deck of cards generally shown as 4 with this deck of cards retained between a card biasing mechanism 6 and a card stopper 8 that extends across the open portion of the casing 5. A deck of shuffled cards is inserted underneath the retaining bar 8 and the card biasing mechanism 6 moves downwardly to accommodate the cards. This mechanism exerts an upward bias force on the deck of cards and raises the level of the cards as cards are dispensed. The biasing mechanism preferably maintains a lower surface of the deck of cards a consistent spacing from the base of the recess to avoid angling of the cards in the recess.
At one end of the deck of retained cards 4, is the card drive arrangement generally shown as 20. The top card of the supply of returned cards is advanced by the movement of the user's thumb such that the top card strikes the card separators 22 which are provided on opposite sides of the casing as shown in
As evident in the sectional view of
In addition, the user can partially retain the card in the unit until a desired position is reached. For example, the person can basically hold the card with his thumb exerting downward pressure on the card such that the card is not dispensed from the card dealing arrangement. Thus, the card can be engaged by the drive wheel until the user releases his thumb. This ability to increase the drag on the card or to temporarily stop the card or retard the card movement due to forces exerted by the user, allows for control of the speed of the card as it leaves the card dealing arrangement and the travel distance. This is helpful in controlling the cards as they are directed to the different players. Similarly, the player can vary the angle of the card dealing arrangement to control a contact angle of the card with the table surface.
The user can vary this contact angle to also control card speed and card distance.
The electric motor 30 is powered by the batteries 46 and the motor can be turned ON or OFF by the micro switch 60 shown in
The spring bias scissor arrangement lifts the cards in a parallel or consistent manner such that the top card has a generally fixed orientation relative to the card separators 22. This maintains the angle of the top card as it is pushed by a user towards the foam drive wheel 32. With this arrangement, variations of the angle of a card being dispensed, relative to the card dealing arrangement is reduced. Greater control of the dispensed card is possible. This arrangement also reduces the possibility of a card jamming during dispensing.
The biasing arrangement 6 is basically a scissor arrangement with one end of the scissor arrangement basically secured within the casing at 62 and the opposite end of the scissor arrangement, shown as 64, free to slide within the casing. The elastic members 50 provide the upward spring bias and the number of elastic members provided between the arms of the scissor arrangement can control this upward bias force. This provides a simple elevating mechanism that effectively raises the cards in a manner to position the top card at the desired level while also accommodating the full thickness of the deck of cards. Other biasing arrangements for elevating of the cards can be used.
In some card games, certain cards are dealt face down to the individual players and certain cards are dealt face up to the players or to a common area. The handheld card dealing arrangement 2 allows the dealer to change the angle of the arrangement 2 relative to the table surface. By angling the handheld card dealing arrangement slightly upwardly, it is possible to cause the card to rotate 180 degrees in the air as it is traveling between the handheld card dealing arrangement and its landing on the table surface. This allows the dealer to deal cards face down or face up in a simple manner. The dealer can control the dispensing of the top card while altering the thumb pressure and the release point of the card. In some games, the fair dealing of cards may not be critical. The handheld card dealing arrangement also allows a player to dispense a card relatively rapidly towards the player and may also add to the excitement or the surprise of a game.
The present card dealing arrangement is extremely effective and allows a dealer to precisely control the dispensing of a top card. The casing 5 surrounds the cards on the sides thereof and prevents the dealer from dealing from a position other than the top card. The card dealing arrangement is relatively light, compact, cost effective and easy to use.
The card retaining bar 8 is shown fixed on the upper edge of the casing 5, however, this bar member can also be movable towards the end of the casing to allow convenient insertion of the deck of cards. This bar member could also be biased to the operating position shown in
The card dealing arrangement is easily held in one hand of a user while allowing cards to be dispensed by the thumb of the one hand. The device is lightweight and of a small size to be easily held by a user. The actual size is less than about twice the size of a deck of cards and weighs less than five pounds.
The invention has also been described with receiving a single deck of cards. As can be appreciated, in some games it is desirable to use several decks of cards and the present card dealing arrangement is not restricted to a single deck of cards. It is immaterial how many cards are part of the card supply.
An alternate card dealing arrangement 102 is shown in
The card dealing arrangement 102 includes a card deck receiving recess 106 that generally has an open top 107 for receiving the deck of cards shown as 104. This alternate structure does not include a bias arrangement for moving the deck of cards upwardly as the cards are dispensed. In the alternate structure, the card deck receiving recess 106 includes an angled card guiding cam surface 108 at the end of the card deck receiving recess 106 adjacent the card drive arrangement 120. The user manually advances the top card of the deck with his thumb until it strikes the angled card guide camming surface 108. The card, due to its flexibility and the angle of cam surface 108, will bend and allow the end of the card to enter the card gap 126.
As shown in
The card dealing arrangement 102 includes a bottom opening recess 150 that receives the batteries 152 for powering of the motor 130. A snap-on cover 154 closes this recess. The recess 150 is located beneath the card deck receiving recess 106 and cooperates with the front support edge 158 for supporting of the card dealing arrangement on a flat surface. These components cooperate to provide a slight downward tilt towards the drive wheel and result in the dispensing slot 140 being generally horizontal when the device is supported on a surface. Therefore, if a user prefers, he can merely engage the device when supported on a surface and advance a card by manually advancing the top card and appropriately directing the card dealing arrangement.
The alternate arrangement of
The drive wheel 132 is particularly advantageous if it is made of a foam material. This material provides some compression of the drive wheel while also providing positive engagement on the lower surface of the card about to be dispensed. Other drive wheels can be used, including rubber surface drive wheels but the ability to resiliently compress at low forces and provide the appropriate drive and slippage of the card as it is being dispensed, requires a selection of appropriate materials.
In the embodiment of
Although various preferred embodiments of the present invention have been described herein in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, that variations may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.