US 3608905 A
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United States Patent Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Arnold W. Kramer Attorney-Warren, Rubin, Brucker & Chickering ABSTRACT: A set of dice utilizing five die each having the shape of a dodecahedron with twelve flat surfaces. Symbols representing the face and number cards of a standard 52 card deck of playing cards are distributed over the surface of the dice and displayed thereon. Each die displays at least 10 and at most 1 l of the symbols, and the latter are distributed so that the symbols of a particular suit on one die vary in their value by at least five increments while the four remaining dice have a similar distribution except for one combination. Additionally, the dice may have the symbols distributed so that no die has two symbols of the same value but different suits. Surfaces of the dice not having card symbols display markings which can be wild cards" and/0r may further serve promotional purposes such as the advertising of goods or services. This distribution of the card symbols over the dice enables the playing of many card games, particularly poker.
PMENTED 8EP28 I97! I v N ROBERT W. EDISON BY 30mm, fl g- I ATTORNEYS FIVE DODECAHEDRON CARD INDICIA DICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to game dice and more particularly to game dice capable of simulating the game of poker.
Several types of game dice have previously been employed to simulate various card games and particularly poker. One approach has been to use standard six-sided dice cubes, each side numbered from one to six. The dice are rolled simultaneously, and the best poker hand is selected. As will be readily understood, however, only a very limited number of poker hands can occur when dice of this type are used. For example, only two types of straights, a six high and a five high, can be rolled. Flushes are not usually possible since no suits are represented, and even when so represented only a limited number of flushes are possible. Moreover, the pairs, three of a kind, etc. are limited to denominations under six.
Another prior form of dice, often called poker dice, is a set of cubes, as above described, but numbered nine, 10, jack, queen, king and ace. These dice do not materially enhance the players ability to simulate the game of poker, except that suits are usually represented which allows flushes to he rolled. Essentially the same limitations on the number of possibilities for dice numbered for one to six exist.
Still another type of game dice which have been previously employed and which afford a greater ability than six-sided cubes to simulate the game of poker is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 654,112. Five dice having the shape of a dodecahedron with 12 sides are used. The denominations of the cards in a standard four-suit, 52-card deck of playing cards have been applied to the dice. Since there are only 52 cards, these dice are formed to prevent the occurrence of sides of the dice which do not display a symbol representing the denomination of a card in the deck of cards. Two opposite surfaces on four of the dice have been rounded so that such surfaces cannot come to rest on a flat supporting surface such as a playing table. The possible number of different surfaces that can be rolled is thereby limited to 52. As an alternative to the rounding of such surfaces, outwardly protruding pins have been provided in opposed surfaces. Such a construction of the dice, however, is relatively expensive, as compared to giving the dice the shape of a true dodecahedron, and furthermore gives the set of dice an unsightly appearance. Moreover the slightest imbalance in the weight or shape of the rounded surfaces or the pins can favor the occurrence of one or the other of the surfaces. This would, of course, effect the playing of a game in which each surface displacing a symbol should have an equal probability of occurring.
In addition and importantly, these game dice are formed with the cards of each suit of the deck distributed equally over the five dice. The result of such a distribution, however, is that the dice still only afford a poor approximation of the conditions for playing poker, For example, these dice will only yield a limited number of straights or straight flushes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a set of dice adapted for playing poker as well as other card games. The dice are comprised of a set of five dodecahedrons, each defining 12 flat surfaces displaying 52 symbols selected from four suits, or colors. Each suit has 13 different denominations of 13 different values which differ in increments from a lowest to highest value. For the purposes of this disclosure, the term denominations shall mean the values of the face and number cards in each suit of cards of the deck of cards. The values of the denominations in each suit is identical, and each dodecahedron displays at least and at most 11 symbols. The symbols on each dodecahdron represent denominations which vary from other denominations of the same suit by at least five value increments. Each dodecahedron furthermore displays no more than one symbol representing a denomination of a given value. Surface of the dodecahedron not displaying symbols display markings not selected from the denominations of the suits which may be used as so-called wild cards." In addition, these markings may communicate a commercial or other promotional message to the player.
All dice have the form of a true dodecahedron to enable their relatively inexpensive mass production and enhance their appearance as compared to the above-described prior art devices. In addition, there is no danger of favoring certain of the surfaces of the dice by a possible imbalanced application of pins, for example, so that each surface, and with each symbol representing a card in the deck, has an equal probability of occurrence when the dice are rolled.
In addition, the distribution of the symbols over the surfaces of the dice so that any two denominations of a particular suit of the deck occurring in a given dice are separated by at least five value increments is of particular importance when playing card games in which each player plays with five cards, the most well known among which is poker. Furthermore, since many card games, particularly poker, assign particular significance to hands of cards of like values, but being from different suits of the deck of cards the cards are arranged so that each value of a card in the deck, regardless of its suit, appears only once in each die.
With this distribution of denominations over the surfaces of the set of five dice, it is possible to obtain virtually any combination of card denominations that is of significance. Thus, players can roll a straight," a flush, a straight flush," or four or five of a kind (the latter being possible only if wild cards are used in the game). The quoted terms in the preceding sentence have well established meaning in the art of playing cards and are therefore, not further expounded herein.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a top plan view of one die constructed in accordance with the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the die shown in FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to the drawing, die 10 has 12 identically shaped, flat surfaces 12 to define a fully symmetric polygonal dodecahedron. When rolled, one of the surfaces of the die rests on a support such as a table top (not shown) while the opposing surface of the dodecahedron faces away from the support surface and is the surface which is read or displays the card symbol which constitutes part of the hand. The dice may be constructed of any desirable material, such as wood, metals, glass, bone, etc. In the presently preferred embodiment, however, the dice are injection molded of a plastic to keep their cost low while reducing their esthetic appearance.
Applied to each set of five dice are symbols, such as spades 18, diamonds 20, hearts 22 or clubs 24 representing the four suits of each standard deck of playing cards. Each symbol furthermore includes a designation, such as numerals 26 or letters 28, representing number and face cards, respectively, of the deck of cards. The numbers represent the number cards 2 through 10 while the letters J, O, K and A, respectively, denote the face cards jack, queen, king and the ace of each suit. The shape of the symbol, i.e. whether it is a heart, a spade, etc., and the number or letter with which it is combined determine the denomination and suit of the playing card represented by the symbol. Alternatively, and to provide the dice with a more artistic appearance, the symbols representing face cards of the deck of cards may be elaborated on and may depict the picture of a jack, a queen, or a king.
If the dice are rolled, all sides of each die have an equal probability of occurring, that is of being disposed oppositely from the dice surface resting on the table top. To enable the greatest possible combination of hands, the arrangement of the symbols representing the various denominations of the cards in a deck of playing cards must be carefully arranged as set forth below.
In card games requiring five cards per player, which include many of the popular poker games, the symbols are arranged so that the card denominations represented by them enable the occurrence of all, or as many as possible, combinations of symbols to which significance is attached in the particular game that is being played. If the game is poker, the symbols must be placed on the dice so that the distribution of the card denominations allow the following combinations: two, three or four denominations of the same value with each being of a different suit (pairs, three of a kind, four of a kind and a full house); five symbols representing denominations separated by single value increments without regard to the suit to which the denominations belong (straight); symbols representing denominations of the same suit irrespective of their value (flush); and five symbols representing denominations of the same suit and separated by single value increments (straight flush).
To enable the occurrence of these hands the symbols on each die representing denominations of the same suit must be separated by at least five value increments. For example, the die in FIGS. 1 and 2 includes the three of clubs. The next club denomination that may occur on that same die is the eight of clubs, which is separated from the three by five value increments. That same die may further include a third symbol representing a club denomination, but which must be separated from the eight of clubs by at least five value increments. Only the king and the ace of clubs satisfy this requirement since the former is separated from the eight by five and the latter by six value increments. The illustrated die includes the king of clubs. The same arrangement must be maintained for the club denominations on all other dice of the set of five dice as well as for the denominations of the remaining suits.
To further illustrate the distribution of the denominations by card value and suit, table I shows a presently preferred distribution of the denominations over five dice identified as A through E. The left-hand column under each letter identifying a die represents the value of the denomination displayed on one of the surfaces of the die, and the right-hand side of each column identifies the suit to which the value indicator on the left-hand side belongs. Thus, C stands for clubs, D for diamonds, H for hearts, and S for spades. The significance of the surfaces indicating joker," or identified by an asterisk is set forth after the tables. The die illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is die C.
It will be noted that any combination of card denominations having significance in the game of poker can be obtained with the five dice when the card denominations are distributed thereover as shown in table I. The singular exception are certain of the possible same suit card combinations or flushes, and some of the possible three of a kind and two of a kind combinations, or full houses. Notwithstanding these exceptions, however, the present dice are capable of much more closely approximating the game of poker by reason of the fact that many more combinations of hands are possible than with previous game dice.
Moreover and importantly, the symbol distribution pattern of the present invention results in three dice having three of the same suit and those same dice also including an ace, king or queen. Since the highest card or cards in a flush determine the strength of the hand, it is possible on the second roll draw) to attempt to roll for a higher flush by picking up a die having three of one suit. Rerolling one of those dice to attempt to obtain a higher flush means that the player will have a 1 in 4 chance of obtaining a flush again and a l in 12 chance of obtaining either a queen, king or ace high flush. The odds are even further enhanced if wild cards are used. Thus, the distribution system of the present invention in part overcomes the deficiency in obtaining certain flush combinations by its ability to obtain high flushes. Similarly, while some full houses are not possible, the hand with the highest three of a kind will win. Since any three of a kind is possible, the player may on a second roll often select a die or dice which will give him a chance to roll a higher three of a kind. Thus, the distribution of the card denominations disclosed in table 1 permits the playing of poker with almost the same effect, as far as the probability of obtaining a winning hand is concerned, as if it were played with a regular 52 deck of playing cards. Table ll is similar to table I but shows a slight variation in the distribution of the card denominations over the surfaces of the five dice.
TABLEI A B C D E AH AS AD AC KH KS KD KC OH 05 OD QC JH JS JD JC lOH lOS lOD 10C 9H 9S 90 9C 8H 85 8D 8C 7H 7D 7C 6H 65 60 6C SH 55 SD 5C 4H 45 4D 4C 3H 3S 3D 3C 2H 28 2D ZC Joker Joker Joker TABLEll A B C D E AH AD AS AC KH KD KS KC 0" OD QS QC JH JD JS JC 10H lOD lOS lOC 9H 9D 95 9C 8H 8C 7H 70 75 7C 6" 6D 65 6C 5H 5D SS 5C 4H 4D 45 4C 3H 3D 35 3C 2H 2D 25 2C Joker Joker Joker c a c a c As can be seen from an inspection of the tables, at least 10 and at most ll of the surfaces of each die display a symbol representing a card of the deck. Consequently, each die has at least one and three die have two surfaces which do not display such a symbol and which are utilized as follows: Each die receives a marking 30 (identified by an asterisk in tables I and II) which may communicate any desired information and which, in a preferred form of this invention, represents a trademark a trade name, or an advertising slogan, which is used for promotional purposes. Thus, this mark has no relationship to the symbols representing playing cards and may be ignored during a game of rolling the dice of the present invention (in which case the player rolling the mark may be allowed to roll that die a second time, for example). Alternatively, the marks may be treated as so-called wild cards for which the player rolling the mark may assign thereto any desired card denomination which maximizes the value of the dice rolled by him. On the three dice having two surfaces not displaying a symbol representing a card denomination the second surfaces may either be provided with a second trademark 30 or they may be identified as joker" cards 32, i.e., wild cards.
It is noted in table I that for four of the five dice there is not a separation of at least five increments for each value combination as, for example, in column A the combination involving the A H and 4 H; in column B between the A S and 4 S; in column C between the A D and 4 D; and in column D between the A C and 4 C. The separation in column E between the K H and 3 H is not significant for, as is well known, there is no straight flush in poker involved therein. A similar anomaly occurs in all the permutations for four of the five dice constructed in the manner taught herein as may be verified, for example, by inspection of table ll. However, only one straight flush per suit is precluded from being rolled for five dodecahedron dice marked as taught herein.
To play the game, each player rolls a set of five dice on a flat table top, for example. The same set of dice may be rolled in turn, or each player may have his own set of dice. Surfaces of the dice facing away from the table top determine the value of the hand rolled by that player. The highest hand wins. Players rolling one or more marks or 32 can assign that value to the marks which maximizes the value of the hand rolled by them.
Although the above-disclosed dice game is particularly well adapted for the game of poker, other games can, of course, be played with it. It is further possible to change the shape and configuration of the symbols representing the card denominations, or to employ numbers only, etc. without departing from the scope of this invention. Moreover, the flat faces can be formed as circular surfaces inscribed within the pentagonal surfaces illustrated in the drawing with each die being rounded between such surfaces.
l. A set of five dice each formed as a dodecahedron with l2 identically formed flat surfaces, 52 of said surfaces of said dice having symbols representing all denominations of each of four suits of a standard deck of 52 playing cards positioned thereon, said denominations in each suit on each die increasing in increments from a lowest to a highest value, the improvement comprising:
an arrangement of said symbols representing said denominations relative to said surfaces of said dice wherein each die has at least 10 and at most 11 symbols positioned on the 12 surfaces thereof, and wherein said symbols are further positioned on one die with the denomination represented by said symbols within each of said four suits separated by a value difference of at least five increments, and the symbols further positioned on each of the four remaining dice with the denomination represented by said symbols within each of said four suits being separated in every combination of symbols but one combination by a value difference within each of said suits of at least five increments, whereby every straight flush but one per suit may be obtained upon a roll of the dice.
2. A set of dice as defined in claim ll wherein,
said symbols are further arranged on said surfaces of said dice with no more than one symbol positioned on each die representing any given denomination of said four suits.
3. A set of five dice each formed as a dodecahedron with 12 identically formed flat surfaces, 52 of said surfaces of said dice having symbols representing all denominations of each of four suits of a standard deck of 52 playing cards positioned thereon, said denominations in each suit on each die increasing in increments from a lowest to a highest value, the improvement comprising:
each die being in physical balance thereby preventing the favoring or disfavoring of any one surface of each die from turning up, and having an arrangement of said symbols representing said denominations relative to said surfaces of said dice wherein each die has at least l0 and at most ll symbols positioned on the 12 surfaces thereof, and wherein said symbols are further positioned on each die to provide a mathematical balancing having one die with the denomination represented by said symbols within each of said four suits separated by a value difference of at least five increments, and the symbols further positioned on each of the flour remaining dice with the denomination represented by said symbols within each of said four suits being separated in every combination of symbols but one combination by a value difference within each of said suits of at least five increments, whereby every straight flush but one per suit may be obtained by a roll of the dice. 4. A set of dice as defined in claim 3 wherein, said symbols are further arranged on said surfaces of said dice with no more than one symbol positioned on each die representing any given denomination of said four suits.
5. A set of five dice each formed as a dodecahedron with 12 identically formed flat surfaces, 52 of said surfaces of said dice having symbols representing all denominations of each of four suits of a standard deck of 52 playing cards positioned thereon, said denominations in each suit on each die increasing in increments from a lowest to a highest value, the improvement comprising:
all permutations of each of said suits on one die being separated by a denominational value difference of at least five increments, and wherein all permutations of three of said suits on each of the four remaining dice are separated by a denominational value difference of at least five increments and all but one of the permutations of the remaining suit on each of said four remaining dice are separated by a denominational vallue difference of at least five increments, whereby every straight flush but one per suit may be obtained upon a roll of the dice. 6. A set of dice as defined in claim 5 wherein, said symbols are further arranged on said surfaces of said dice with.no more than one symbol positioned on each die representing any given denomination of said four suits.