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Publication numberUS3588116 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1971
Filing dateFeb 5, 1969
Priority dateFeb 29, 1968
Publication numberUS 3588116 A, US 3588116A, US-A-3588116, US3588116 A, US3588116A
InventorsMiura Kosaburo
Original AssigneeMamoru Matsuoka
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Card shuffler
US 3588116 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [72] Inventor Kosaburo Miura Tokyo, Japan [21] Appl. No. 796,796 [22] Filed Feb.5, 1969 [451 Patented June 28, 1971 [73] Assignee Mamoru Matsuolra Funabashi-shi, Chiba-ken, Japan [32] Priority Feb. 29. 1968 1 Japan [31 43/14798 [54] CARD SHUFFLER 3 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.

[52] US. Cl [51 1 Int. Cl [50] Field of Search [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,154,988 9/1915 Hall 1,998,690 4/1935 Shepherd a r 273/149 2,159,958 5/1939 Sachs 273/149 2,755,090 7/1956 Aldrich 273/149 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Attorney-Beveridge & De Grandi ABSTRACT: When a deck of playing cards is inserted into the casing of the shuffler, it is divided exactly into two equal groups by means of positioning plates and a divider blade, and the groups of cards slide down over a pair of parallelly disposed upper and lower shoots until they are stopped by gate plates, and then the cards of both groups are forced to slide down through clearances provided between the gate plates and the upper and lower shoots, one card at a time through each clearance, in such a manner that the cards so discharged alternatively fall onto the open bottom of the casing, or directly on the card table on which the shuffler is placed, in a single pile which upon removal of the shuffler from thereabove can be taken up as it is by the dealer or player for a next game.

PATENTED M28 I97] 3,588,116

' SHEET 2 OF 3 INVENTOR I A'r'romvzws PATENTEDJUN28I9?! 3588.116

SHEET 3 [IF 3 INVENTOR I 1 I7 3 Kosaduko M/uRA m 51 mm ATTORNEYS CARD SIIIUFFLER This invention relates to a card shufl'ler adapted for shuffling the standard form of playing cards.

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a card shuffler which upon receipt of a deck of playing cards in its mouth or feeder specially provided for that purpose will automatically split the cards into two equal groups and shoot down the cards alternatively one at a time from each group.

Another object is to provide a card shufi'ler of the type described in which the cards so shot down fall through the open bottom of the casing and are heaped in a single pile directly on the card table on which the shuffler is placed so that upon removal of the shuffler from thereabove the shuffled cards are ready as such for a next game.

A further object is ,to provide divider means for dividing a deck of playing cards of whatever overall thickness always into two exactly equal portions.

A further object is to provide a card shufller which is simple in construction, easy to operate and gratifies the curiosity of the player or players.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the embodiments *thereof illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a partly broken plan view;

FIG. 2 is a vertically sectional side view taken on the line ll-Il of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertically sectional side view taken on the line Ill-III of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the parts forming the mouth or feeder for the insertion of cards;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line V-V of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line VI-VI of FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view explanatory of the card shuffler in operation; and

FIG. 8 is a vertically sectional side view of another embodiment of card shuffler of the invention.

The embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 through 7 will now be described. A casing for card shuffler is generally indicated at 1. It takes the form of a square box, high at the rear end (to the right as viewed in FIG. 2) and which declines frontward. It consists of a left side plate (at the bottom in FIG. 1) 2, right side plate 3, front end plate 4, rear end plate 5, and top plate 6. It is open at the bottom. The casing 1 is provided with an opening 7 at the rear upper part (FIG. 4). In the vicinity of this opening 7, the left side plate 2 and the right side plate 3 have somewhat increased thickness as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, and are extended rearwardly, and the extensions have substantially semicircular cutaway portions 8 and 9, respectively, on the inner faces thereof.

A lower shoot 10 (FIG. 2) consists of a plate which extends from the lower edge of the opening 7 parallelly to the top plate 6 and spaced-apart therefrom with a clearance equal to the thickness of more than a deck of playing cards and which is declined toward the front part of the device. It has a frontal extension consisting of a partition plate 11 declining more steeply frontward. Further downward, it has a vertical partition 12 which reaches the bottom of the casing 1. The vertical partition 12, front end plate 4 and left and right side plates 2, 3 define a bottom opening 13 of a size at least large enough to permit passage of playing cards in a horizontal pile.

Above the lower shoot 10 is provided an upper shoot 14 parallelly thereto with a distance therefrom equal to more than half the thickness of a deck of cards. It consists of a single plate, formed at the rear edge with a semicircular groove 140 as shown in FIG. 4. Along the front end of the lower shoot 10 there are formed a pair of longitudinal slots 15 as in FIG. 5. In like fashion there are formed a pair of longitudinal slots 16 in the front end of the upper shoot 14. Under the substantially central portions .of the slots 15 and 16, rotating shafts 17 and 18 are rotatably journaled in the left side plate 2 and right side plate 3. The left ends of these rotating shafts extend through the left side plate 2 somewhat beyond said plate and carry driven pulleys 19 and 20 fixedly secured thereto, which pulleys are on the same plane and are made of hard rubber or plastics. Two pairs of shooting or discharging rollers 21 and 22 for urging the cards to slide down are fixed to the rotating shafts 17 and 18, and rotate in the slots 15 and 16, respectively, and these rollers emerge slightly above the surfaces of the lower shoot 10 and upper shoot 14, so that they can contact the lowermost cards of the stacks resting upon the shoots 10 and I4. These rollers 21 and 22 are formed of hard rubber or plastics.

On the front upper end of the lower shoot 10 is provided a gate plate 23, which is fixed at the upper end to the under side of the upper shoot 14. Between the lower end of the gate plate 23 and the lower shoot 10 is defined a clearance 25 which is only large enough to pass one card at a time as it is delivered by the rollers 21. To avoid any hindrance to the rotation of the rollers 22, the gate plate 23 is slotted suitably.

Similarly, on the front upper end of the upper shoot 14 is provided a gate plate 24, which is fixed at the upper end to the under side of the top plate 6. Between the lower end of the gate plate and the upper shoot 14 is formed a clearance 26 which is large enough to pass only one card delivered by the rollers 22 at a time.

A feeder swingably mounted on the opening 7 to facilitate the insertion of a deck of playing cards into the device is generally indicated at 27. In the form of a square frame it consists of a front plate 28, rear plate 29, left side plate 30 and right side plate 31, and is open at the top and bottom. The left and right side plates 30, 31 extend downward as shown in FIG. 4, the lower parts being rounded to semicircular contours adapted to fit in the semicircular cutaway portions 8, 9, respectively. A shaft 32 penetrates through the centers of these semicircular portions, and extends at both ends beyond the left side plate 30 andright side plate 31, and is rotatably journaled at the extended extremities in holes 33 and 34 formed in the left side plate 2 and right side plate 3, respectively, of the casing 1. Thus the feeder 27 is swingably mounted on the opening. Here the shaft 32 fits in the semicircular groove 14a on the rear edge of the upper shoot 14. If the dealer or operator turns the feeder 27 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 2, the front edges of the left and right side plates 30, 31 come in contact with the rear edge of the top plate 6, and the feeder stops upright as shown. If turned clockwise, the feeder 27 is tilted to a position flush with the top plate of the casing as the rear edges of the left and right side plates 30, 31 hit against the rear upper edge of the lower shoot 10. At this time, the rear plate 29 is located on the line extended rearwardly of the lower shoot 10.

In the lower part of the space between the front and rear plates 28, 29, a thin divider blade 35 is provided parallelly thereto. The blade is fixed at both ends to the sideplates 30, 31, and is secured at the bottom end of the shaft 32. It is sharpened at the top end to an edge shape as shown in FIG. 2, and is adapted to divide a deck of cards inserted from above into two equal portions. When the feeder 27 is turned down as shown in FIG. 7, the divider blade 35 is aligned to the upper shoot 14.

On the inner walls of the upper portions of the front plate 28 and rear plate 29 there arefitted positioning plates 36 and 37 opposite to each other as shown in FIG. 2. These positioning plates are formed of a single curved plate spring each, and are attached to the front plate 28 and rear plate 29, respectively, only at the upper ends by means of support members 38 and 39. The front plate 28 and rear plate 29 are provided with tapped holes 40, 41, which receive adjust screws 42, 43 engaged at tips with the positioning plates 36, 37.

If the screws 42 and 43 are turned inwardly of the feeder 27 the distance between the positioning plates 36, 37 is decreased, and if the screws are turned contrariwise the distance is increased. When adjustments are made so that the distance between the positioning plate is equal to the overall thickness of the stack of cards to be shuffled and that the divider blade 35 is located just midway the space between the positioning plates 36, 37 and when the stack of cards is inserted into the top opening of the device, the cards slide down with the outermost cards in contact with the positioning plates 36, 37 and are divided into two equal groups by the divided blade 35. This means that the positioning plates 36, 37 must be provided above the top edge of the divider blade 35.

Next, drives will be explained hereunder.

Numeral 44 designates a plate fixed horizontally between the inclined partition 11 and rear plate 5. This plate supports a base 45 on which a miniature motor 46 is securely mounted. The rotating shaft 47 of the motor 46 extends rotatably beyond the left side plate 2 as shown in FIG. 6, and the lower end of a lever 48 is swingably fitted in the extension. To a point of the lever 48 near the free end thereof a short shaft 49 is fixed, on which a cam pulley 50 is rotatably and unremovably fitted. As better shown in FIG. 3, this cam pulley 50 takes the fonn of amushroom consisting of a large diameter semicircular portion 500 and a small diameter semicircular portion 50b having a common center axis, and is formed of a semicircular groove 51 along the circumference (FIG. 6).

To the end of rotating shaft 47 of the motor 46 is fixed a I small driving pulley 52 which is also formed with a semicircular groove 53 along the periphery. The pulley 52 and cam pulley 50 are connected to each other by a driving belt 54, thus forming a belt-driven transmission. The belt 54, made of elastic rubber to a round cross section, is designed so that substantially the inner half fits in the grooves 51 and 53 and substantially the outer half remains exposed. Since the cam pulley 50 is formed of large and small semicircular portions 50a and 50b, its rotation leads to changes in the length of the belt 54, but the belt 54 is elastic enough to avoid the danger of disengagement. The lever 48 is provided with a hook 55 about midway the length (FIG. 3), while the left side plate 2 is provided with a hook 56 at a suitable point below the driven pulley 19, a tension coil spring 57 being hooked at both ends in said hooks 55 and 56. Above the driven pulley 20, the left side plate 2 is provided with a lug 58, which in turn is formed with a tapped hole that receives a screw 59. At the tip of the screw 59 is fitted a rubber buffer ember 60, which is adapted to engage with an upper extension 48a of the lever 48. The belt-driven transmission composed of the driving pulley 52, cam pulley 50 and belt 54 is intended to impart intermittent rotations to the driven pulleys 19, 20. As the cam pulley 50 rotates and the large diameter semicircular portion 50a is moved to a point opposite to the driven pulley 19 or 20, the outer side of the belt 54 fitted in the circumferential groove 51 on said semicircular portion comes into direct contact with the driven pulley 19 or 20, thus driving the either pulley. Conversely when the small diameter semicircular portion 50b is opposed to the driven pulley 19 or 20, the belt 54 is kept out of contact therewith. The screw 59 is intended to maintain these parts in proper relative positions and adjust the contact pressure between the belt 54 and driven pulleys 19, 20.

In FIG. 3, 61 designated a switch having a fixed contact 61a and a movable contact 61b consisting of a spring of electrically conductive metal. These contacts are normally in closed state. Above the switch 61, a pin 62 is extended and fixed at one end to the left side plate 2 and a generally crank-shaped switch lever 63 is pivotally supported at about the intermediate point by said pin. When the feeder 27 is turned upright as shown in FIG. 3, the upper end of the switch lever 63 is thereby urged to turn counterclockwise and presses with the lower end the movable contact 61b of the switch 61, thus opening the switch 61. If the feeder 27 is turned down, the movable contact 61b returns to the original position, while pressing the switch lever 63, into contact with the fixed contact 61a.

FIG. 2 shows battery holders 64 fitted to the under side of the plate 44 and holding three cells 65 in the battery compartment. The battery holders 64, motor 46 and switch 61 are connected in series by wire 66. Since this electric circuit is of an ordinary construction, the wiring is shown as partly omitted. 67 is a bottom plate to keep the cells 65 from slipping off the battery compartment. The front end of this plate fits in a groove 68 formed on the rear side of the vertical partition plate 12, and the rear end is detachable fitted to the rear plate 5 by means of a screw 69.

A cover 70 for the transmission mechanism above described is attached to the left side plate 2 with three machine screws 71 (FIGS. 1 and 3). As shown in FIG. 1, the cover 70 is formed with a hole 72, through which the switch lever 63 extends outwardly.

A handle 73 attached to the top plate 6. Also, a window 74 is formed in the front half of the top plate 6, and is fitted with a plate 75, e.g. of transparent plastics.

The operation of this card shuffler is as follows.

The shuffler is placed on a card table 74 and the feeder 27 is held upright as shown in FIG. 2. As already described, the switch 61 is openin this state. Because the frictional resistance of the left and right side plates 30, 31 of the feeder 27 with respect to the left and right side plates 2, 30f the casing 1 surpasses the restoring force of the movable contact 61b of the switch 61, there is no possibility of the feeder 27 being forced down by the switch lever 63. The screws 42, 43 are adjusted to make the distance between the positioning plates 36, 37 equal to the thickness of the stack of cards and bring the divider blade 35 to a point exactly in the center of the distance, in the manner as above described.

When a deck of cards 75 is introduced into the shuffler from above the feeder 27, the cards are divided into two exactly equal groups as illustrated in FIG. 2. The lower ends of cards of the two equally divided groups rest upon the inclined shoots 10, 14. Naturally the groups of cards tend to slide down frontwardly on said shoots. As a result, the center of gravity of each group of cards is shifted rearward, urging the cards to fall backward altogether, and hence the feeder 27 swings backward. The groups of cards then slide down over the shoots 10, 14 until they are stopped by the gate plates 23, 24.

Upon the backward swing of the feeder 27 the switch 61 is closed and the motor 46 started. The rotating shaft 47 and driving pulley 52begin running and, through the belt 54, they drive the cam pulley 50 in the direction indicated by an arrow in FIG. 3. Only when the large diameter semicircular portion 50a is at a point opposite to the driven pulleys 19, 20, the pulleys rotate in contact with the belt 54. Accordingly the pulley 19 rotates intermittently and, with some phase lag behind said pulley, the pulley 20 also rotates intermittently and synchronously therewith. This causes intermittent rotation of the rotating shafts 17, 18 and of the rollers 21, 22 for shooting the cards down. Then, the rollers 21, 22 in contact with the lowermost cards of the groups on the shoots 10, 14 deliver the latter one at a time through the clearances 25, 26. The cards shot down from the upper and lower card groups alternatively pass through the bottom opening 13 of the casing 1, and are placed in a single pile directly on the card table 74. This shuffling operation is illustrated in FIG. 7. The card 75a represents one being shot down; the card 75b is about to be shot down through the clearance 26; and the cards 75c constitute a shuffled pile. The manner in which the cards are shuffled can be observed through the window 74.

After all of the cards 75 have been discharged, the feeder 27 is set upright. Then, the switch 61 is opened and the motor 46 is stopped. When the shuffler is removed, the pile of shuffled' cards 75c remains on the table.

As described hereinabove, this card shufiler operates entirely automatically except that a deck of cards has to be inserted initially into the feeder 27, and upon its removal from the table surface, it leaves a single pile of shuffled cards behind. Thus the shuffler is very simple to operate and is attractive as it arouses the curiosity of the players.

Concerning the transmission mechanism according to my invention, attention should be paid to the fact that theconmanner that it can run in direct contact with the driven pulleys 19, 20, and that the belt 54 is made of elastic rubber to avoid disengagement from the associated parts.

FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of the invention, which is all the more simplified in construction because the card feeder is made stationary or formed in one piece with the main body of the shuffler. The top plate 6 of the casing 1 and the lower shoot are both extended rearwardly as compared with those in the embodiment already described and illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 7, and also the left and right side plates 2 and 3 are extended rearwardly so as to define a feeder or mouth 127. To the rearward extension of the upper shoot 14 is aligned and fixed a divider blade 135, which is secured at both ends to the left and right side plates 2 and 3.

On the inner surface of the rear end portion of the lower shoot 10 there is attached a positioning plate 137 consisting of a curved plate spring which is supported only at the rear end by a support member 139. The lower shoot 10 is provided with a tapped hole 141, in which an adjust screw 143 is screwed with the tip in engagement with the positioning plate 137. As will be clearly appreciated from FIG. 8 it is not necessary to provide another positioning plate on the inner side of the top plate 6.

At a suitable point of the rear plate 5 is fitted a toggle switch 161. The construction of this embodiment is otherwise same as that of the preceding embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 7.

The operation of this embodiment of shuffler is as follows.

By turning the screw 143 suitably the distance between the positioning plate 137 and the divider blade 135 is adjusted to just half the overall thickness of a deck of playing cards to be inserted. After the adjustment, a deck of cards 175 is introduced into the mouth 127. As shown in FIG. 8, it is divided by the divider blade 135 into two equal portions, which then slide downward along the shoots 10 and 14. From then on, the device operates in the same manner as the embodiment of FIGS. 1 to 7.

While two preferred embodiments of my invention have so far been described in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, it should be obvious that the present invention is not limited thereto but numerous other modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention.

I claim:

1. A card shuffler comprising a casing, shoots provided in two parallel stages, upper and lower, in the casing and which are frontwardly declined so that groups of playing cards representing halves of at least one deck of cards can slide down thereover, a card feeder pivotally mounted on the casing which is adapted to be set upright and swung down in use, said feeder having front and rear plates and a divider blade interposed therebetween so that, when the feeder is upright, the deck of cards inserted therein is split by the divider blade into two groups, the lowermost card of one group resting upon one of the shoots and the lowermost card of the other group upon the other shoot, and when the feeder is swung rearward, the groups of cards are allowed to slide down the shoots, positioning means provided on the inner sides of the front and rear plates of the feeder specifically at points above the top edge of the divider blade,'adjusting means for the positioning means, said casing having an opening at the bottom and in front of the shoots which is at least large enough to permit passage of cards in a horizontal pile therethrough, rotating shafts disposed below and in the vicinity of the front ends of the shoots at right angles to the axes thereof, discharging rollers mounted on the rotating shafts and adapted to rotate within slots formed in said shoots, in contact with the lowermost cards of the groups resting on the respective shoots to move the cards frontward to said opening, gate plates provided above and in the vicinity of the front ends of the shoots to stop the groups of cards that slide down the shoots, said gates being so arranged as to define clearances each of which permits passage of only one card delivered by the shooting rollers at a time, means to cause intermittent rotation of the rotating shafts, a motor for driving said means for intermittent rotation, a switch for controlling an electric circuit for the motor and means interlocked with sald feeder to open or close sai switch in response to the swing motion of the feeder.

2. A card shuffler according to claim I wherein the intermittent rotating means consists of driven pulleys fixedly mounted on the rotating shafts, and belt drive means including a cam pulley formed with a large diameter semicircular portion and a small diameter semicircular portion having a common center axis, a driving pulley adapted to transmit the power of rotation from the motor, and an elastic rubber belt which connects these parts together, said belt drive means being adapted to drive the rubber belt in contact with either driven pulley only when the large diameter semicircular portion is opposed to said driven pulley.

3. A card shuffler comprising a casing, an upper shoot declined frontward so that a group of playing cards representing at least one-half a deck of cards can slide down thereover, a lower shoot located underneath the upper shoot and declined frontward so that a group of cards representing at least one-half a deck of cards can slide down thereover and which is extended rearward from the upper shoot to receive a deck of cards on that rear extension, a divider blade aligned and fitted to the rear end of the upper shoot, positioning means provided on the lower shoot at a point rearwardly of the rear end of the divider blade, adjusting means for the positioning means, said casing having an opening at the bottom and in front of the shoots which is at least large enough to permit passage of cards in a horizontal pile therethrough, rotating shafts disposed below and in the vicinity of the front ends of the shoots at right angles to the axes thereof, shooting or discharging rollers mounted on the rotating shafts and adapted to rotate within slots formed in said shoots, in contact with the lowermost cards of the groups resting on the respective shoots to move the cards frontward to said opening, gate plates provided above and in the vicinity of the front ends of the shoots to stop the groups of cards that slide down the shoots, said gates being so arranged as to define clearance each of which permits passage of only one card delivered by the shooting rollers at a time, and means to cause intermittent rotation of the rotating shafts, said intermittent rotating means consists of driven pulleys fixedly mounted on the rotating shafts, and belt drive means including a cam pulley formed with a large diameter semicircular portion and a small diameter semicircular portion having a common center axis, a driving pulley for the cam pulley, and an elastic rubber belt which connects these parts altogether, said belt drive means being adapted to drive the rubber belt in contact with either driven pulley only when the large diameter semicircular portion is opposed to said driven pulley, and means for rotating said drive pulley.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/149.00R
International ClassificationA63F1/12, A63F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F1/12
European ClassificationA63F1/12