US 2334094 A
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Nov. 9, 1943. J. J. HICKEY MACHINE FOR PLAYING BRIDGE 4 Sheets- Sheet 1 Filed June 10, 1942 MK W N J Wm w J. J. HICKEY I MACHINE FOR PLAYING BRIDGE 4 Sh eet-Sheet 2 Filed June 10, 1942 IN VEN TOR.
' Nov. 9, 1943. J HlcKEY MACHINE FOR PLAYING BRIDGE Filed June 10, 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII INVENTOR. Joy/v J. MCKEY A 7' 7'0RM: Vs
Nov. 9, 1943. .1 J. HICKEY' 2,334,094
MACHINE FOR PLAYING BRIDGE Filed June 10, 1942 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 TOR. CKE Y In \A AW L M WW witha deck of 52 'or 53 playing cards.
Patented Nov. 9, 1943 2,334,094 V IMAGnINE 'Fo'a PLAYING BRIDGE p p John LHickey, Arlington, N. J. r a ApplicationlJune 10, swers); 446,426 f e 9 Claims. (crew s-148) This invention relatesto machines for play UNITED STATES PATENT, orrlcgl ing games and refers more. particularly to a machine for playing auction or contract bridge and similar; games which are usually played An object of the present inventionis the pro vision of; a game playing machine which can be conveniently used by cripped or aged persons or persons afllicted, with various nervous ailments, who areunable to hold, -shuiile or deal. playing cards, Ior the purpose of playing various games, such as bridge or=whist,;}similar. to
those which are played by means of cards.
Another object is the provision of a novel and entertaining substitute for card games, consist ing of a machine the operations of which replace mentof the. inventiveidea.
various manipulations which must becarried games.
A further" object is to substitute playing cards by units which are not affected by gusts of cordinary winds, thus, making it possible to play card games, such as bridge, outdoors, for, in-:
stance, on lawns, beaches and decks of moving steamships.
A still further object is to eliminatefthe slowmanual shuffling and dealing of, playing cards which ail ord undue advantages to players with long practice, and to substitute therefor 'a-more rapid, eificient and uniform machine-shuttling bridge-playing machine comprising a Wheel wherein the. mixing of balls or other rotary elements serving ,as a substitute for cards takes place. The balls are intr'oducedby the wheel into a counting device which supplies the, correct number of balls to the places occupied by players in the course of the gamathese places being provided with suitable means for holding the balls which are concealed from other players, for sorting the balls,forplaying them singly and for transferring the dummy hand to out in the course of bridge, whist and other card jFigure' 4 is a section along Figure 3. 4 i Figure 5 isla section along thelineiee-iof .Figure 2. i 1;
Figure 6 is-a section along the lineG-fltof Figure 5i'. r f o Figure was a perspective viewofuaftray its playing position. Balls may betransmitted to playing location and taken. as tricks, means being provided to record tricksand ,thetbidding. raised, and made visible to the players..' The The dummy hand may be conveniently playing location is connected with means returning the balls back to the mixing wheel. v
The invention willappear more ,clearlylfrom the following detailed description when taken in'ccnnection with the accompanying drawings showing, by Wayof example, a preferred In thedrawings: V jFigure 1 is aperspective view of the top or a bridge playing table or machine constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.
Figure-2 is. a top shown. in section.
Figure 3shows the mixing wheel and is a section along, the line 3-,3of Figure 4.
L. Figure 7 is a section along theflirieulllof Figure2. Figure -8 is a perspective View ,of the ball counting device.
- Figure 9 is a perspective view of, two trays in dealing and playing positions. 1' Figurega showsthe two trays inthe sorting position. Figure 9b showsltheftwo trays'inthefreturn position.
to play games simila r to those played by means of cards. Playing, cards, are substituted by balls 25 which may be made of wood, ordinary or mag nifying glass, porcelain, plastics, ivory, cement or any otherpsuitable' material. The'balls may be made in convenient sizes ranging from threequarters ofan inch to one and one-halfv inches inudiameter and may be of four colors which area well, recognized component of ordinary playing cards, namely, black for spades, blue for clubs, red for hearts andwhite or ivory for dia-- ferred to .as whist; The machine constitutes -the top. 2| of, a tablewhich may be made of plan vieww ith some parts the. line 1 The machine shown in fthe drawings is used supported by legs 22.
wood and metal parts, although satisfactory tablesmay be made wholly, or in combination,
of metal, plastics or other suitable materials.
The table may be round, octagonal or of any other shape to suit different requirements.
The table top Zlshown in Figures 1 and 2 is approximately thirty-two inches square and is The table has positions forfour players, the places for the players being designated by numerals 1 mm. The, customary card dealer is replaced by an operator and the players in the first and fourth locations are in positions enabling them to operate the machine most conveniently.
The machine includes a plurality of inclined its shaft 21 which is mounted in a support 28 enclosing the wheel and connected to the table top, and is also mounted in a wall 29 constituting apart of the table top. A handle 30 is 'used to rotate the shaft 21 and the casing 24 connected therewith.
The rim of the casing 24 carries a plurality of bafiles 3| each ofwhich has a'straight wall 32 and a'hook-shaped element 33 providedwith a surface 34 which is inclinedin the direction toward the table.
\ Thewheel23 may be rotated in opposite directions and may contain a substantial number of balls 20. direction, the baffles 3| will lift the balls, which rest in the casing, .various heights up to. six
- inches'and project them on top of the mass of balls in the channel and will rotate the whole mass thus mixing them thoroughly. When the wheel is rotated in the opposite direction, the hook-shapedportions 33 of the baffles 3| will entrap some of the balls and raise them while continuing to mix the mass of balls. 'Due to the inclination of the surfaces 34 upon which the balls rest, the balls will roll conveniently upon the inclined platform 26 and will be dealt to the players by a counting and distributing device 35, shown in Figures 2 and.8.
Thejtrays and tubes constitutingv apart of When the wheel is rotated in one the "distributing device are situated within a rectangular casing 36 enclosing an'inner space 31 I A partition wall 38 extends between the platform 26 and a corner formed by two inner walls 33 and 40. Two short walls 4! and 42 extend parallel to the wall 38.
A door 43 may separate the platform 26 from the space between the walls 38, 4| and 42. The
door 43 carries a pin 44 extending through the top 45 of the casing and provided with a knob 46.' Two rods 41 and 48 haveends which are attached to the door'43, The rods are pivoted intermediate their ends at 49 and 50 and extend -parallel to the walls 39'and 4fl,'respectively. An
inclined rail 5|, which is U-shaped in cross section (Fig. 5), has a wall 52 connected to the wall 39 and a parallel .wall 53. A groove or channel 54-is formed between the rod 41 and the walls 39 and 52. Another groove or channel minimum in effort. 1
The bar 12 is pivoted at 9| and carries a down I wardly extending bracket 15 provided with a pivotv 16' carrying a bearing 11 for a rolleror wheel l8.
the three other players 55 is provided between the rod 41 and the wall 53. The rod 41 carries a pin 56 extending into the channel 54 and another pin 51 extending into the channel 55.
A similar inclined rail is connected to the wall 40 and is divided by the rod 48 into two grooves or channels 58-and 59. The rod 48 carries pins (not shown) similar to the pins 56 and 51 and projecting into channels 58 and 59. p When the door 43 is raised, the balls 20 will roll from the platform 26 and into the channels 54, 55, 5B and 59 until" they are stopped by the. pins carried by the rods 41 and48.
43 maybe held in its raised position by trioti'onal engagement of the pin 44, or by any other suitable means not shown in the drawings- When playing the game of bridge, the balls 20 may be one inch in diameter and the length a of, each of the channels 54, 55, 58 and 59 between its pin and the door 43 may be equal to thirteen inches, so that thirteen balls will located in each channelfthis being thenumber required for each playing hand of bridge.
The position of the pins upon the rods 41 and 48 may be varied to enable the'channels to hold ten, twelve or any'other desired number of balls and thereby utilize the machine for playing gaimes other than bridge, such as pinochle, pedro and other games. For the kittys pockets may be. 4
added to the device. 7
The channel 55 is in communication with a curved channel 6|] leading to anouter tray 6| constituting a part of a sorting and playing device 62.
it is completely invisible from the locations 0! provided ;Wlth similar devices (Fig. 1),. 1
extend 'to the left hand ends of the traytFig. 9)
Ballsare 'held upon the trays bya line of brush 10 "and a barrier: II constitutinga' bent edge of a bar 12; The bristles 10 are carried by an elongated bar I3 s'uspendedby brackets 14. The line' of brush 'lli consisting of animal hair may be conveniently substituted by rubber prongs or similar yielding orelastic material; The purpose of the line of brush 'lflis to hold the balls securely t V in line and also to permit a player to select any one of the balls 20 and by slight pressureof his thumb or fingers, press it through the line of,
brush Ill from the outer tray 6i and into the inner.
tray64. This is particularly helpful to a crippled or impaired player in that he is completely relieved of the burden of holding up his playing hand throughout the long round of play and his sorting and playing activities are reducedto the The trays El and 6 4 carry downwardly extending cams 19 and 80, respectively, which are pro vided with surfaces slanting in opposite directions (Fig. 6).
The roller 18 and the cam Iii and 80 may be engaged by various portions of a camplate 8| which is connected by a plate 82 witha sleeve 83. The sleeve 83 'is situated below the table top The dOOI' I The device 62 is situated within the table below its top and is visible'through a wina 'dow 63' only to the player who is'using it,;while The outertray 5! extends parallel'to aninner tray 54 and ends-at a wall 58 (Fig. 6) situated below the channel 60. Bothtr'ays are pivoted at, '65 close to their left hand ends (looking inthe directionof Figured) and are separate from each 7 other by edges 68 and 61 which, however,- do not roller 18 may ride.
the. table casing (Fig. 1). whenplaying the dummy hand. i
, (Fig.1) and is mounted-I upon a meat which is suspended from the table-top by brackets" 85.
' The cam plate8l comprises a-fiat surface at upon which the roller Id and the cams 1-9 and 80 may rest (Fig; 6a). Theplate fll also carries an upwardly projecting piece 87 uponwhich the The cam 1& of the outer tray BImay ride upon a downwardly inclined surface 8%. The cam 8!! of the inner tray'fi tmay ride upon an upwardly extending projection 89" and a downwardly inclined surface 90.
The cam carrying plate 8 I' may be operated to shift the trays BI and 64 into three positions indicated" in Figures 9, 9w and 9b. I'he sorting of the'balls is carried out while the trays; are in the position shownin Figure 9a, by pushing the balls singly-from the outer tray 6| to the inner tray64. Balls collected in the inner tray 54 are returned to the outer tray Si in the desired orderby. operating the plate 81 to shift the trays shown in Figure 9b.
Balls are played singly by being pushed from to the position thexouter tray BI to the innertray 64 whilethe trays are in the position shown in Figures 6 and 9; in this position the two trays are slightly inclined downwardly in the direction toward the barrier II of the bar 12. p The adjacent end. of the inner trayfid is in communication with a channel 92 which leads to the playing channel 93 (Figs. 2 and '7). A channel 94 connects the adjacent end of the outer tray N with the playing channel 93.
A door' 95 is situatedv between the tray GI and the and will enable a rolling of' the ballsto channel 94 and may be raised by lifting a handle 96' which extends through a slot 91' provided in The playing channel 93 extends diagonally across the inner space 31 of the machine and is The. door 95 is raised located at the bottom thereof. The channel 93 q has two end portions whichare inclin'eddown wardly toward a central portion (Fig. 1), while thefloor of the central portion is inclined toward an opening 99 communicating. with the. return channel 25 (Fig. 7). The openingfifl'is-usually closed by a flange I01! of a lever It! which is 'pivoted'iat I02. (Fig. 2) and is connected bya rod I03 with. another lever I04. The lever. MM is pivoted at I05. The levers IIlI and IM aremaintained in place by a spring I06.
Two chains or wires ID'I are connected tog the lever IBI and lead to locations oi two different Two other wires IIII are connected to the lever I M and lead to the locations of the other two players. The ends of the wires. IEl'I' carry" rings I08.
Each wire Ifl'I operates. a separate counting device H19 which includes a lever! It pivoted. at III and connected with the wire. The lever III) the wheel 23* m the direction wa arrowprovided withthe wordmix" inFigure 4.
Then the deali ngbf the balls is accomplished by rotating the wheel' 23 in the opposite direction. v The bellies 33 will lift all of theballs 20 after a few revolutionsof the wheel 23. The balls will roll down the inclined surfaces 34 of the bafiles 33 and upon'theplatforrn 26. I
the game proceeds, th wheel 23 will repeatedly restore the balls to their higher elevation propriate locations in the machine.
If the door 4% is -raised, the-balls will roll in a the channels 54, '55, 58 and 59 untilthey are stoppedby thepins carried by the rods 41 and 48'. When the dealing knob 46 is pressed downwardlygthe rods 41- and 48 will turn and raise their pins, thereby permitting the correct number of balls to roll down the channels and intothe four outer playing trays GI. At this time, the
outer trays BI and the inner trays 64 are in the position shown in Figures 6 and 9.
Each player now proceeds to sort his hand. For
this purpose, the player shifts his sleeve 83 to M will follow the inclined surface 90 and thefltray M will be inclined downwardly. with the free end of thetrayfacing a wall 98 or. the casing. This position is shown iii-Figure 9a.-
Then the player sorts his hand by pressing the balls singly through the brush lflvfrom the. outer tray 5| to the inner tray 64 and therebyassembl'ing the spades in one group and likewise the clubs, diamondsand hearts; each suit can there by also be sorted inthe sequential order desired by'the player. The balls are assembled in the inner tray 64' at the 'lowerend of the tray close to the wall 98.
After completing the sorting, a player shifts the sleeve Mto the "position designated as return *"inFigure 1. In this position, the roller 18 is again uponrthe surface lifi'of the platetl (Fig. do), so that'the barrier I! of the bar fi2 remaining be-,
tween. the tray 64 and. the channel 92; however,
- the tray 64 is now swung outwardly by the prothe inclined surface 38 of the plate 8i.
carries a pawl I I2 meshing with a gear wheel H3 which is connected with a pointer or hand .IIA moving over ascale H5.
A channel I l6 for the dummy hand" be I inserted into the playing channel 93', or may be raised above the channel 93bya lever I I"! (Fig. 7)
which is pivoted at I Ifl'and'which is connected at IZ'Il to a vertical rod I f9" connected to. the channel- H6. The rod I I9. passes through the fioorlfZI of the inner space. 31 of the machine.
jection M which engages the cam of the tray On the other hand, the outer tray 61 is downwardly inclined, sinceits cam I9 rides upon This position iseiilustrated in Figure Qb; Then the sorted'b-alls will roll by gravity down the tray 64 and will bedefiected upon the trayfil at the barrier I I whereupontheballs roll upon the tray It! to its'end. i
Afterthesorting of the hands, the players bid for the trump in the same manner'in which the bidding is conducted when playing cards are used.
Following the'bidding, any one of the four players may transfer the dummy hand, from an The playing of the game. begins by inserting all the balls 20 representinga deck of cards, into the channel 25. The balls'roll down the inclined surfaoes'of the channel 25 and assemble in the lower part of the mixing'wheel' 23 and the adjacent part ofthe channel 25. The mass ofyballs is stirred and mixed in the described" manner by rotating I the playing channel 93.
outer t'ray GI by raising the knob 96 and the door or sluice-way 95 (Fig. 1). At that time the channel I I fi for the dummy hand is located within The halls will roll down the tray BI and the channel 9:! (Fig. 2) and into the channel IIfi; Then a player turns th lever I'I T and raises the channel I It abovethe playing channel 93, as indicated in Figures 1 and '7', so
counting device ouential manner one ball at a time, by pressing each ball through the brush into the inner tray 64 from which the balls will roll by gravity through the channel 92 and into the playing channel 93.
The pushin of the balls singly from an outer tray 6| to the inner tray 54 i a simple movement particularly suited for crippled or impaired persons. Such players are relieved of the burden of holding up hands of cards and of the two-headed action in sorting the hands of cards.
7 The dummy hand can be played one ball at a time, by the action of any of the players in lifting the balls singly by hand from the raised channel .I I6 and depositingthem in the playing channel 93. Each round of play will accumulate four balls in the playing channel 93, from which the players determine which of them has won and can take the trick in the same manner in which such dechain or wire lli'l, thereby actuating the lever Ill! which frees the opening 89 and thus sends the four balls by gravity to the hopper or channel and the wheel 23. Thetrick is recorded by the me which moves forward the pointer l l 4.
It-is apparent'from the above that balls are visible to all the players when they are located inlthe channels 93 and HS, that balls in each sorting device 62 are visible only to'one player and thatat all other stages of the operation of the machine the balls are contained in enclosed parts and are not visible to the players or contentants. i It is apparent that the machine shown above is given by way of illustration and'not by way of limitation and that the above described illustration is subject to wide variation and modification within the scope of the appended claims intent of,
without departing from the scope or the present invention.
What is claimed is: 1
'1. A machine for playing bridge and other card games wherein cards are substituted by rolling playing balls, said machine comprising, in com-, bination, means for mixing the playing balls, a
separate playing tray at each players location, a' separate sorting tray adjacent each playing tray, whereby said balls may be pushed singly combination, a platform, means for mixing the. playing balls and for transmitting them to said platform, inclined channels extending between said platform and players locations,-a movable gate situated between said platform and said channels, a separate pin situated within each channel to prevent the balls from reaching the players locations, means connecting said gate with said pins for raising said pins when said gate is lowered and vice versa, a playing channel,
means transmitting the balls from the players the pivoted end of said sorting tray during, the I locations to the playing channel,- and means transmitting the balls from said playing channel to said mixing means.
3. A machine for playing card games wherein cards are substituted. by rolling-playing balls, said machine comprisingin combination, means for mixingthe playing balls,
- a separate receiving tray ateach players location, a sorting tray situated close to said receiving tray and adaptedto receive balls pushed I singly from said receiving tray, a playing channel, means for. transmitting the balls from said sorting tray to said playing channel, means in terrupting. the communication between. said sortpleted, and means transmitting the balls from' said playing channel to said mixing means, and
means transmitting the balls from said mixing 1 means to said players locations.
4 A machine for playing bridge and other,
card games wherein cards are substituted by rolling playing balls, said machine. comprising, j in combination, means for mixing the playing.
balls, a-separate receiving tray at each player's location, a sorting'tray situated parallel and close to said receiving tray and adapted to receive balls pushed singly from said receiving tray,,meanspivotally supporting said trays at adjacent ends thereof, a playing channel, another channel ex tending between said playing channel and the pivotal end of said sorting tray, a barrier, means for inserting said barrier between said" other said mixing means to said receiving tray.
5. 'A'machine for playing bridge and other card 7 gameswherein cards are substituted by rolling playing-balls, said machine'comprising, in combi-l i nation, meansfor mixing the playing balls, ,a separate receiving tray at each playerslocation,
a sorting tray situated parallel and close to said receiving tray and adapted to receive balls pushed singly from said receiving tray, means pivotally' supporting said trays atj adjacent ends "thereof, a playing channel, another channel extending between said playing channel and the pivoted end of saidsorting tray, a barrier, means for inserting said barrier between said other channel and sorting and the return of the balls, meansfor lowering the other end of said sorting tray during the sorting, means for raising said otherend of the sorting tray and for lowering the corresponding end of the receiving tray to return the sorted balls from the sorting trayto the'r'eceiving tray, and means transmitting the balls from said paying channel to said mixing means, and
means transmittingthe balls fromsaid mixing 7 means to said receiving tray.
6. A machine for playing bridge and other card games wherein cards are substituted by rolling playing balls, said machine comprising, in corn- 7 bination, means for mixingthe playing, balls, :a separate receiving tray at each players location, a sorting tray situatedv parallel and close to V I said receiving tray and adapted to receive balls pushed singly from said receiving tray, a playing bridge and other balls from said receiving tray to said dummyhand channel, and means transmitting the balls from said playing channel to said mixing means,
and from said mixing means to said receiving tray. Y I
'7. A machine for playing bridge and other card games wherein cards are substituted by rolling playing balls, said machine comprising, in combination, means for mixing the playing balls, a
separate receiving tray at each players location, a sorting tray situated parallel and close to said receiving tray and adapted to receive balls pushed singly from said receiving tray, a playing channel, a dummy-hand channel fitting into said playing channel, means for raising said dummyhand channel above said playing channel, means for selectively conveying the balls from said receiving tray'to said dummy-hand channel and from said sorting tray to saidpla-ying channel, and means transmitting the balls from said playing channel to said mixing means, and means transmitting the balls from said mixing means.
to saidreceiving tray.
8. A machine for playing bridge and other card games wherein cards are substituted by rolling playing balls, said machine comprising, in combination, a rectangular casing enclosing an inner space, a device connected to said casing for mixing the playing balls, means within said casing for, receiving the mixed balls and selectively transmitting the mixed balls to players locations, a playing channel situated in said inner space, a dummy-hand channel situated in said inner space and movable in relation to said playing channel, means situated within said casing for transmitting the balls selectively from the players' locations to the playing channel and the dummy-hand channel, and means transmitting the balls from said playing channel to said mix- 7 ing means. i i
9. A machine for playing bridge and other car games wherein cards are substituted by rolling playingballs, said machine comprising,in combi- I nation, means for mixing said balls and raising them to an elevated position, means for sorting the raised balls into hands or sets, a separate playing tray at each player's location, a separate sorting tray adjacent each playing tray, whereby said balls may be pushed singly from a playing to said mixing means.
JOHN J. HICKEY.