US 3759525 A
The present invention is a game apparatus which effects a play by a set of reels mounted upon a shaft, with each reel rotating freely, to stop or be stopped, at a random position with respect to the other reels. Card faces or like symbols extend about the periphery of the reel and the game play will be by correlation of the card faces on the different reels which fall into alignment when the reels stop rotating.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Davis ELECTRICAL ACTUATED CHANCE DEVICE HAVING CHAIN-DRIVEN ROTATABLE DRUMS  Inventor: Carl B. Davis, 3300 S. Oak Ct.,
Morrison, Colo. 80465  Filed: Oct. 6, 1971  Appl. No.: 186,906
1521 us. (:1 273/143 R 51 Int. (:1. A631 5/04 58 Field 01 Search 273/143 R, 143 A, 273/143 B, 143 0,143 D, 143 5,138 R, 138 A, l E
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,180,029 11/1939 Babcock 273/143 E 3,615,093 11/1971 Barrett..... 273/143 R 2,093,813 9/1937 Macourek 273/143 R 2,044,320 6/1936 Norris 273/143 R 2,993,252 8/1961 s1. Martin 273/143 R 2,079,000 5/1937 Brenner 273/143 R x FOREIGN PATENTS 0R APPLlCATlONS 290,794 5/1923 Great Britain 273/143 R Sept. 18, 1973 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Arnold W. Kramer Attorney-Van Valkenburgh & Lowe  ABSTRACT The present invention is a game apparatus which effects a play by a set of reels mount-ed upon a shaft, with each reel rotating freely, to stop or be stopped, at a randornposition with respect to the other reels. Card faces or like symbols extend about the periphery of the reel and the game play will be by correlation of the card faces on the different reels which fall into alignment when the reels stop rotating.
The apparatus uses an electrical pull mechanism to give the reels their initial rotation. Individual reel stops are provided which are actuated by pressing buttons. Sprockets on the reels receive reel-stop detents so the reels stop at indexed positions. Thus, the card faces on the several reels will then lie in alignment and be conveniently exposed through windows in the housing of the unit.
4 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures Pmmsoscmm 3.759.525
SHEEI1UF4 INVENTOR. Carl B. Davis ATTORNEYS PAIENIEBSEMB 3.759.525
sum 3 0F 4 V 75 INV EN TOR.
Carl B, Ddvis fkm/flwe ATTORNEYS ELECTRICAL ACTUATED CHANCE DEVICE HAVING CHAIN-DRIVEN ROTATABLE DRUMS The present invention relates to mechanical games, and more particularly to a game apparatus which involves the rotation of a group of reels, a primary object of the invention being to provide a novel and improved game apparatus using rotating reels which completes its play when the reels stop at random positions with respect to each other. As such, the invention will be called a reel game apparatus or simply, a "reel game.
Another object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved reel game apparatus, wherein the rotation of the reels is effected by a mechanical means in a manner completely independent of any control by the operator to permit the reels to spin out, to stop at random positions and which also includes manually operated stops to index each reel so a symbol thereon is centered at a window and also to stop each reel ata selected position, or nearly so, depending to a great extent upon the operators skill and the speed of his reflexes.
Another object of the invention is to provide,in a reel game apparatus, a group of rotating reels having an arrangement of card symbols printed about each reel, so that the group can be used to effect a play according to the rules of a common card game such as poker.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved reel game apparatus using rotating reels which can be played according to the rules of a card game such as poker, but which, in the absence of payoff devices, will be legal and acceptable in states having re strictions on mechanical gambling devices such as slot machines.
Another object of the invention is to provide, in a novel and improvedreel game apparatus, a sequence of mechanisms which will release the reels, initiate their rotation and then permit a player to attempt to stop each reel at a selected position. 7
Further objects of the invention are to provide, in a novel and improved reel game apparatus, a structure which is simple, economical, reliable and requires a minimum of maintenance.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, my
present invention comprises certain constructions,
combinations and arrangements of parts and elements as hereinafter described, defined in the appended claims, and illustrated in preferred embodiment by the accompanying drawings in which: I
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the reel game where the apparatus is within a housing which presents reel faces at windows, in a preferred arrangement for the playing of a game such as poker.
FIG. 2 is a sectional, side elevational view of the game apparatus within the housing, as taken from the indicated line 2-2 at FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional front elevational view of an upper portion of the apparatus within the housing, as taken substantially from the indicated line 3--3 at FIG. 2, but on an enlarged scale.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the operative mechanisms within the unit, as taken from the indicated line 4-4 at FIG. 3, but on a further enlarged scale.
FIG. 5- is a fragmentary plan view of the apparatus, showing two of the reels, as taken from the indicated line 5--5 at FIG. 3, but on an enlarged scale with a portion of one of the reels being broken away to show parts otherwise hidden from view.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary elevational view similar to portions of the showing at FIG. 4, but with the reel detents shifted to a reel-releasing position as when the reels are ready for rotation.
FIG. 7 is a rear elevational view of the operative components, as taken from the indicated line 7-7 at FIG. 2, but with an actuator shifting the reel detents to their releasing position shown at FIG. 6.
FIG.'8 is a fragmentary sectional plan, as taken from the indicated line 8-8 at FIG. 6,. illustrating the manner in which the reel detents are locked at their releasing position.
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary sectional detail, as taken from the indicated line 99 at FIG. 4,. showing the manner in which the reels are mounted upon the shaft.
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary sectional detail, as taken from the indicated line l0 10 at FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is a sectional elevational view, as taken from the indicated line 11-1 1 at FIG. 3, but on an enlarged scale.
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary sectional view, as taken from the indicated line 12-12 at FIG. 11.
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary sectional detail, as taken from the indicated line 13-13 at FIG. 12.
FIG. I4 is a circuit diagram of the apparatus.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, the reel game apparatus, as herein described, is enclosed in a two-piece housing H. The rear portion of this housing is of folded sheet metal and includes a bottom 20, sidewalls 21 and a back wallv 22. The front portion of the housing is preferably a casting and includes a top 23 and front wall 24. The rear edge of the top 23 is hinged to the back wall, as at 25, and this front portion thus functions as a lid to close over the apparatus. The top 23 and front wall merge as a sloping section 26 wherein windows 27 are located to facilitate viewing reels R within the apparatus with which the game is played.
In the embodiment disclosed, five of these reels R are i provided, each with ten segments S about the periphery as indicated at FIG. 3. Suitable markings, such as card faces, are printed upon these reels. Each reel can rotate until friction causes it to stop at a random position or until it is stopped by a manual stop means. In either instance, the manual stop means is used to index the reels so that a full card face appears at a window. Thus, the reels, with card faces printed upon them, permit the play of a game following the rules of poker, all as hereinafter described in detail.
The apparatus is preferably coin-operated and a play is initiated by the deposit of a coin at an intake slot 28 at the front wall. The intake slot is part of a coin selector 29 mounted at the inner side of the front wall to permit legal coins to drop into a pan 30 at the bottom of the housing and improper coins to be rejected at a reject opening 31, directly underneath the intake slot 28. A door 32 is provided at the bottom of the front wall to be opened'for removal of the coin pan 30 from time to time, the door including a lock 33 to prevent pilfering of the coins.
The apparatus is electrically operated by electrical leads, not shown, to respond to the deposit of a coin within the selector 29 to initiate the apparatus as hereinafter described. In addition, the electrical circuits are connected to a lamp 34 within the unit to light up the reels at the windows 27 and to light up translucent signs, pictures and instructions which may be affixed to the top 23 and the front wall 24 in any suitable manner, not shown. To play a game with the apparatus, there is also provided, at the front wall 24, a starting button 35 and an array of stop buttons 36 which are pressed to stop rotation of the reels, as heretofore mentioned. One stop button is provided for each reel and thus permits an individual playing the game to selectively stop the reels as they are rotating. To assist a player in controlling the position where a reel is to be stopped, the windows 27 are formed as two rows of windows extending across the sloping section 26. Thus, the windows expose two full segments of each reel. The window wherein a selected card face first appears, as the reel is rotating, may be an observation window so that the reel can be stopped when the card face appears at its subsequent window.
The reel spinning apparatus within this housing H is conveniently mounted upon a shelf 37 secured to the sidewalls 21 of the apparatus. All of the operative components are carried upon a U-shaped bracket 38 which, in turn, is secured to the shelf 37 by suitable bolt fasteners 39. The components include several subassemblies, each of which performs a specific function or sequence of functions. The reels R are carried upon a transverse shaft 40 which, in turn, is mounted upon bearings 41 at the top of each leg of the bracket 38 at a centered position within the container, with the peripheral faces of the reels R being properly exposed at the windows 27.
Each reel includes a hub 42 wherein a ratchet bearing 43 is fitted for mounting the same upon the shaft 40 and the hubs are held in place on the shaft by ring clips 42' shown at FIG. 9. The bearing is of any suitable type such as shown at FIGS. 9 and and a commercial type is known as a one-way roller bearing. A wheel disc 44 extends from this hub which may include openings in its face to reduce the weight of the material. A flat rim 45 extends about the disc and the outer peripheral face of the rim 45 carries the markings of card faces as heretofore indicated. In the embodiment described, the faces are arranged in 36-degree segments to provide the placement of ten card faces on each reel. To complete the wheel assembly, a straight toothed sprocket 46 is affixed to the hub as by bolts 47, the teeth of this sprocket being at 36 intervals so that it may be synchronized with the card faces printed upon the rim 45 to facilitate stopping the reel with card faces centered precisely in the windows 27 as will be explained.
An array of detents 48 are formed as plates which lie alongside each respective reel. These plates are mounted upon a common, transverse rocker shaft 49 which is secured to and between the legs of the bracket 38 below the reels and at the front edge of the bracket. The detents are carried on hubs 50 which properly space the detents 48 on the shaft 49. The shaft 49 is threaded, and nuts 51 secure the hubs in position upon the shaft and the shaft upon the bracket 38. Each detent 48 carries a lug 52 which engages an adjacent reel sprocket 46 between its teeth when the detent 48 is moved downwardly. Each detent is urged downwardly by a tension spring 53 fastened to the bottom edge of the detent 48 and extended downwardly and connected to a structural angle anchor 54 secured to an upright.
When the lugs 52 engage their sprockets, they hold the reels and prevent their rotation. At the same time, the reels will be positioned so a card face will appear in the windows 27. Subsequently, the lugs must be released from the sprockets before a game can be played with the apparatus. The release of the detents 48 is effected by tipping the detent plates 48 about the shaft 49 against the bias of the springs as to the position illustrated at FIG. 6. The tipping of all of the plates is effected simultaneously by a cross arm 56 carried upon the armature 57 of a solenoid 58 which is fastened to the back side of the upright at the center of the unit. It is to be noted that this tipping movement will be the first of a sequence of operations which includes locking each detent 48 at its tipped position and thereafter, rotating the reels R, all by mechanisms and control circuits as hereinafter described.
Each detent 48 is provided with an opening 59 above the rocker shaft 49 and a holding hook 60 is adapted to fall into this opening whenever the plate is tipped as in the manner hereinabove described. A hook 60 is located in front of each respective reel. The hooks thus form an array and are mounted upon a transversely disposed angle shelf 61 which is secured to the legs of the bracket 38 and outstands forwardly from the bracket to be adjacent to the front wall 24 of the unit. Each hook 60 is a flat plate pivotally mounted upon shelf 61 by a pivot bolt 62 to permit it to swing into and out of the opening 59 of detent 48 as described. A spring 63 is connected to each hook to urge the hook into its opening 59 and each spring is anchored to the shelf at an adjacent pivot bolt 62. The plate forming each hook 60 includes an upright tab 64 alongside the pivot bolt and this tab may be pushed towards the reel to disengage the hook 60 from the detent 48. The stop buttons 36 in the front wall are aligned to engage the pads 64. As best shown at FIG. 4, each stop button 36 is carried in a socket 65 in the front wall 24 with a spring 66 in the bottom of the socket to urge the button 36 outwardly. A finger 67 on the button 36 extends inwardly, from a hole through the socket, to engage a tab 64 as shown at FIG. 8 and a lock 67 on each finger holds it in place. It follows that whenever a stop button is pushed to permit its finger 67 to shift a tab 64, the hook releases its detent 48 so that the lug 52 may move between the teeth of the sprocket 46 to stop rotation of a wheel.
A short bar 68 is mounted upon each detent 48, on a pivot bolt 69. This bar is positioned adjacent to the sprocket teeth to engage and push the edge of a tooth of the sprocket should the lug 52 accidentally strike precisely upon the point of a tooth when the detent is released to'stop rotation of the reel. Thus, the bar 68 prevents the lug from remaining at a top dead center position with respect to a sprocket tooth, but instead, forces the tooth off top dead center to permit the lug 52 to properly lie between two sprocket teeth. A limited rocking movement of this bar 68 is permitted by a The rotation of the reels is effected by a driver mechanism best illustrated at FIGS. 11 and 12. A sprocket 72 is mounted upon the shaft 40 adjacent to the .leg of a bracket 38. The armature 73 of a solenoid 74 is mounted upon the leg of the bracket 38 immediately below this sprocket as by bolts 75. One end of a chain 76 extends from the sprocket towards the armature and connects with an extension bar 77 upstanding from the armature. The chain wraps about the sprocket and the other end is connected with a return spring 78 which,
in turn, is anchored to a structural bar 79 extending across the back side of the bracket 38". Whenever the armature is pulled downwardly by the solenoid 74, the resultant rotation of the sprocket spins the shaft 40. It is to be noted that this sprocket is preferably mounted upon the shaft with a rotating ratchet bearing 80 directed oppositely to the ratchet bearings supporting the reels. It is to also be noted that this operation of spinning the reels by pulling the armature 73 is a portion of the operational sequence which occurs after the armature 57 releases the detents 48, but prior to the reel stopping movements by pressing the stop buttons 36. To prevent too uniform a spin, and to prevent the reels from being spun after they slow down to a stop, as by shaking the unit, a weight 81 is affixed to the inner face of each reel rim to create an unbalanced arrangement.
The electrical circuit, FIG. 14, can best be described with reference to the overall operation of the apparatus. The components connected by the electrical circuits will include mechanical switches, relay switches, limit switches and solenoids. The mechanical switches and electrical contacts are illustrated diagrammatically and are conveniently mounted upon a baseboard 82, with the relay switches being carried in a suitable container 83 and a terminal board 84 is mounted upon the baseboard 82, as indicated. The power source will be a conventional 110 volt A.C. source and a conventional power lead P will connect with the power source and extend through a suitable opening at the back or the side of the unit to connect with a standard outlet in any suitable manner, not shown. The power lead will also include a fuse 85.
The coin selector 29 will include a switch 86 which is in a first circuit 87 extending from the power lead P. This circuit 87 includes a relay solenoid 88 having a normally open switch 88a in an interlock loop 870 which shunts switch 86. Accordingly, when switch 86 is momentarily closed by the deposit of a coin, the momentary energization of solenoid 88 closes switch 88a to sustain the circuit. A normally closed relay switch 89a is also in this circuit 87 to open to release the interlock 88a when the operating cycle is completed as will be described.
A second circuit 90 includes a normally open switch 35a which is closed by pushing the starter button 35. This circuit also includes the normally open switch 88b which is closed whenever the relay 88 is energized and both the switches 35a and 88b must be closed to energize the lead 90. This lead 90 also includes the solenoid 58 which is energized when switches 35a and 88b are closed. The armature 57 of solenoid 58 releases the sprocket stops by shifting sprocket stop plates as heretofore described, and at the same time, the relay closes a normally open, two-pole, single-throw limit switch 91 having arms 91a and 91b. A lead 96 connects with the arm 91a to extend to a relay coil 89 which energizes to open switch 89a and deenergize the lead 87. This, in
turn, deenergizes relay 88 to open switches 88a and 88b, to deenergize leads 87 and and permit the solenoid armature 57 to return to its initial position, again opening switch 91a.
The switch 91b is in a circuit lead 92 which includes a relay 93 and a normally closed limit switch 94. An interlock loop 92a includes a normally open switch 930 to close whenever the relay 93 is energized and accordingly, the lead is energized as long as switch 94 and switch 93a are closed. A circuit lead 95 includes the solenoid 74 and a normally open switch- 931) which is closed whenever the relay 93 is energized. Whenever this relay is energized, switch 93b is closed to energize solenoid 74. The armature 73 thereof thus moves to spin the reels as heretofore described. It also contacts and opens the limit switch 94 at the end of its stroke. This deenergizes solenoid 93 and its circuit 92 and interlock loop 92a is deenergized. Thus, all of the switches of the system are returned to their original state to permit another cycle of operation to commence.
l have now described my invention in considerable detail. However, it is obvious that others skilled in the art can build and devise alternate and equivalent constructions which are nevertheless within the spirit and scope of my invention. For example, obvious varying arrangements of the structural features of the unit are possible; also, operational variations, such as using a handle in lieu of the button 35, and these variations can be made without changing the principles of operation. Hence, I desire that my protection be limited, not by the constructions illustrated and described, but only by the proper scope of the appended claims.
1. In the combination with:
a game apparatus of the type having a plurality of reels with markings on each :reel about its periphcry, a stop sprocket at one side of each reel and a ratchet bearing at the axis of each reel;
a rotatable shaft whereon the reels are mounted in a side by side relationship, Wlthl the shaft being fitted in the ratchet bearings of the reels to permit each reel to rotate upon the shaft in one direction only;
a detent adjacent to each reel biased to engage the stop sprocket to stop rotation of the reel;
a releasable holding means adjacent to each detent to engage and hold the detent when it is moved against its bias and away from engagement with its stop sprocket;
a shifting means to shift all of the detents away from their engagement with their stop sprockets and to engagement with the holding means; and
a manual release means at each holding means to release the detent from the holding means to permit the same to engage the stop sprocket and stop rotation of the reel;
the improvement of a means to suddenly rotate the shaft in the direction of reel rotation to lock the ratchet bearings and thereby spin the reels when the shifting means shifts the detents, comprising: a chain sprocket upon the shaft;
a chain partly wrapped about the sprocket;
a solenoid having a normally extended armature connected with that end of the chain which, when pulled into the solenoid, when the solenoid is energized, rotates the chain sprocket and shaft thereon in the direction of reel rotation;
a tension spring at the other end of the chain to return the chain to its initial position whenever the solenoid is deenergized and the solenoid armature is extended;
a circuit means including a normally open switching means which closes to energize the solenoid to pull the armature into the solenoid; and
means to close the switching means responsive to the shifting of the detents away from the sprockets and to engagement with the holding means.
2. In the combination defined in claim 1, wherein:
the aforesaid chain sprocket is mounted upon a ratchet bearing upon the shaft which is directed oppositely from the ratchet bearings in the reels, whereby the shaft will not reverse when the tension spring returns the chain to its initial position.
3. In the organization defined in claim 1, wherein the shifting means to shift the detents includes a second solenoid;
and a second circuit means therefor adapted to energize this second solenoid to effect the aforesaid shift of the detents;
and the means to close the switching means of the first mentioned circuit means includes a delay means does not permit the closing the of the first switching means until the said second solenoid is energized to effect a shift of its armature.
4. In the organization defined in claim 3, wherein:
said means to close the aforesaid switching means includes a limit switch operable when the second solenoid is energized.