US 3604705 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Nathaniel F. Hawthorne 855 Cedar St., Alameda, Calif. 94501 121] App]. No. 805,603 I22] Filed Mar. 10, 1969  Patented Sept. 14, 1971  GAME COUNTER HOLDER 4 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 273/148 R, 211/14,273/1 R [5 1] Int. Cl A63t 9/00  Field of Search 273/1, 148, 30; 21 1/14  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 227,633 5/1880 Koska v 211/14 X 318,523 5/1885 Tisdale 211/14 X 1,500,544 7/1924 Brockley 211/14 X 3,198,338 8/1965 McCormick ABSTRACT: 1n the device of the present invention, each player tries to secure as large a count as possible, after the first player has secured the requisite number of cards, by securing as many counters as possible. Preferably, the counters are of the nature of ping-pong balls, as such balls are light, resilient, and very active in their bouncing 1n the preferred form of the game, the balls can be secured only by means of a pair of tongs which each player has. Preferably, the balls are set in the middle of a table on a device such as shown in the drawings which comprises a plurality of rotatably mounted X-bars carried by a perpendicular shaft. 1n the present game, when a player has secured the requisite number of cards, he picks up his tongs and starts grabbing the ping-pong balls as fast as he canv The other players, upon perceiving his action, do the same.
GAME COUNTER HOLDER This invention relates to an amusement device, or game, and particularly to a device for affording an exciting means for scoring a game like the well-known Pit", in which a plurality of players pass cards around the table until one player has secured a book of a predetermined number of cards.
OBJECTS It is an object of the present invention to provide an exciting and active game counter for a card game in the nature of Pit."
It is another object of the invention to provide a game, particularly suitable for young people, which requires alertness, considerable activity, and some skill.
It is still another object of the invention to provide an exciting game which is particularly adapted to develop muscular control on the part of the participants, but in which chance plays a very important part so that less manually skillful players will not lose interest but continue to participate.
These and other objects of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of the game counter, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the device of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side view of a four-tiered device shown in FIG. I, in which one tier is shown in cross section in order to show the method of construction.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the tongs which preferably are used to secure the counters.
The device of the present invention is mounted upon a base plate adapted to rest firmly upon a table top (FIGS. 1 and 2). A vertical shaft 11 is rigidly secured to the base plate 10 by any suitable means, such as a collar 12 formed integrally with the base plate 10, and pin 13 (FIG. 2). A plurality of rotatable arms 20, which preferably take the form of a square cross as shown in FIG. 1, are mounted on the shaft 11 in any suitable manner. For purposes of exemplification I show a number of collars 14 secured on the shaft 11 in spaced relationship to each other by any suitable means, such as pins 15, each of the collars 14 providing a bearing for one of the X-arms 20. Preferably, the rotatable members are provided with a vertical collar 21 adapted to rotatably embrace the shaft 11 in order to avoid undue vertical motion at the ends of the respective radial arms 20. A cup member 22 is rigidly mounted on the outer end of each of the anns of the crossbars 20, the holders 22 being adapted to hold a suitable counter, such as a ping-pong ball 23.
l have found that the game is more exciting when the players are not permitted to pick up the ball 23 by hand but must use some manipulative device, such as a pair of tongs. Accordingly, I provide for each player a pair of tongs 30 comprising a U-shaped strip of light flexible material forming parallel arms 31 which terminate in cup members 32 particularly adapted to hold a counter, such as a Ping-Pong ball 23.
RULES OF THE GAME At the outset it should be understood that the particular form of the card game with which my counter is associated, is not part of this invention and that the description thereof which follows is simply to exemplify a game with which the counter of this invention can be used. In a card game of this type, each player is trying to secure a book" of a number of cards of like character or denomination. For example, assume there are five players and they are using a deck of pinochle cards which has eight cards of each denominational value. In this event one of the denominational values of the deck would be eliminated so that the playing deck would comprise five books of eight cards each. The cards would be dealt by the dealer to each player in turn, until the entire deck was used, thus giving each of the five players eight cards. The dealer then orders a certain number of cards to be assed, say, to the left, and each player does so simultaneous y. Play continues with the dealer directing the number of cards to be passed until one of the players has acquired a book of the requisite number, which can be six cards to form a book, or eight, as the case may be, or as desired by the players. When one player accumulates a book, that hand terminates. Obviously, the game could be played with an ordinary deck of cards, in which case each book would normally be composed of four cards of like denominational value.
When using the counter of the present invention, when a player acquires the requisite number of cards of like character to form a book, he lays down his hand, picks up his tongs, and starts grabbing the counters as fast as he can. Immediately the other players grab their tongs, and likewise try to collect as many counters as possible. If the preferred Ping-Pong balls are used as the counters, the mad rush to grab the balls which ensues, causes the rotating arms 20 to spin crazily and as players grab for balls, they will be dislodged from their pockets and bounce upon the table. Thus, there follows a few moments in which the players are scrambling to collect the balls 23 with their tongs 30. When all of the balls have been collected, the players then get a score on that hand corresponding to the number of balls which they have been able to collect. Preferably, a ball falling from the table onto the floor will become dead and will not be counted for anyone. A new hand will be played and the game will continue until some player has accumulated some preselected number of points, say 5 I.
At the start of each hand, the counters 23 are replaced in their pockets 22 and the device again set in the middle of the table. The deal is usually passed to the left and a new hand is played in the same manner as described.
It will be understood that the drawing and the above disclosure show a preferred embodiment of my invention and that many modifications will occur to those skilled in the art which do not depart from the inventive concepts herein disclosed. For example, I have shown four rotatable arms, but obviously any desired number could be used. If desired, one or more of the balls could be colored a distinctive color and those would count for some added value. Also, while I have shown the use of tongs as required, it is obvious that the game would be very exciting and interesting if no tongs were used and the players were entitled to grab the balls by hand. Accordingly, it is intended that the appended claims cover such modifications as fall within the true spirit and concepts of the invention.
1. A game counter comprising a base, a spindle carried by said base, a plurality of rotatable members rotatably mounted on said spindle, a plurality of counter holders secured on said rotatable members each holding a light ball capable of bouncing, and a pair of tongs, said tongs being adapted to encompass said balls.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein each of the rotatable members comprises a plurality of radially extending arms.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the spindle extends vertically and the rotatable members rotate in horizontal planes.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein the light balls are Ping- Pong balls.