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Publication numberUS3817530 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 18, 1974
Filing dateNov 2, 1972
Priority dateNov 2, 1972
Publication numberUS 3817530 A, US 3817530A, US-A-3817530, US3817530 A, US3817530A
InventorsHoward J
Original AssigneeHoward J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Apparatus suitable for playing card games
US 3817530 A
Abstract
The invention is an apparatus suitable for playing a card game such as Poker, Black Jack, or the like without the use of playing cards. A box-like housing is provided which contains two belts. On one belt the values of playing cards are indicated in a regular rectangular grid. The second belt fits over the first belt and has a number of apertures or windows through which some of the card values on the first belt can be viewed. The belts differ from each other in length by an integral multiple of the card length dimension on the card value belt. A shuffler knob or the like is provided for moving both the card value belt and the aperture belt an equal distance along their lengths. Because of the difference in length of the two belts and in their paths of travel through the box, the apertures are shifted relative to the card values. A sliding door is provided as a part of the top of the box-like housing. The sliding door can be slid open one card at a time so that a player may view the cards thereunder. Generally, so that two players may play the card game, a second grid pattern of card values appears on the value belt, a second series of apertures on the aperture belt, and a second sliding door is provided whereby the hand of a second player can be exposed card by card. Provisions can also be made for more than two players by providing additional sliding doors, etc.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Howard APPARATUS SUITABLE FOR PLAYING CARD GAMES [76] Inventor: James Augustus Howard, 20733 Meadow Oak Rd., Saratoga, Calif.

221 Filed: NOV.2, 1972 211 App]. No.: 303,039

[52] US. Cl. 273/135 R, 273/1 R [51] Int. Cl A631 1/12, A63f l/I4 [58] Field of Search 35/31 A, 35 G, 76;

40/86 R; 273/1 R, 130 AB, 130 R, 130 E, 135 R, 143 B,155, 148 R [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,075,248 10/1913 Gancher 35/76 2,593,631 4/1952 Tognetti 273/143 B 2,896,951 7/1959 Snow 273/148 R 3,185,478 /1965 McTaggart 35/76 X 3,470,628 /1969 Schuhe /76 X 3,698,113 10/1972 Spicer /86 R X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,121,881 7/1968 Great Britain 35/76 Primary Examiner-Anton O. Oechsle Assistant Examiner-Harry G. Strappello June 18, 1974 [5 7] ABSTRACT The invention is an apparatus suitable for playing a card game such as Poker, Black Jack, or the like without the use of playing cards. A box-like housing is provided which contains two belts. On one belt the values of playing cards are indicated in a regular rectangular grid. The second belt fits over the first belt and has a number of apertures or windows through which some of the card values on the first belt can be viewed. The belts differ from each other in length by an integral multiple of the card length dimension on the card value belt. A shufller knob or the like is provided for moving both the card value belt and the aperture belt an equal distance along their lengths. Because of the difierence in length of the two belts and in their paths of travel through the box, the apertures are shifted relative to the card values. A sliding door is provided as a part of the top of the box-like housing. The sliding door can be slid open one card at a time so that a player may view the cards thereunder. Generally, so that two players may play the card game, a second grid pattern of card values appears on the value belt, a second series of apertures on the aperture belt, and a second sliding door is provided whereby the hand of a second player can be exposed card by card. Provisions can also be made for more than two players by providing additional sliding doors, etc.

15 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures mmzmumm 331K530 SHEET 10F 2 36 3423 3! 24 ABCD DCBA APPARATUS SUITABLE FOR PLAYING CARD GAMES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to an apparatus suitable for playing card games and the like without the use of a deck of cards.

A number of apparatus are disclosed for playing card games, including, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,432,248; 2,645,493; 2,702,708; 2,821,399; 3,377,069; 3,655,200; and 3,658,342. None of the devices disclosed in any of the aforementioned patents is even remotely similar to the apparatus of the present invention.

It would be highly desirable to have a portable device for playing card games or the like, which device would be capable of displaying a large number of, e.g., card hands, one card at a time. Such a device would be very useful to commuters, airplane passengers, bus rider automobile riders, servicemen, campers and the like. It would be used in a much smaller space than would be required for playing card games which would be a very definite advantage for such use. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus adapted to display a seldom repeating assortment of indices from a set of indices.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an apparatus for simulating playing of card games wherein a large number of hands may be dealt without repetition of the individual hands and in which playing cards as such are not utilized.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a compact apparatus capable of simulating such card games as Black Jack, Stud Poker, and the like.

Still another purpose of the present invention is to provide a compact and portable apparatus for playing card games and the like which can be used by persons having only a limited playing space available, such as passengers in an airplane, bus, train, automobile, etc.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS,

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a portion of an aperture belt which is included within the housing of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top view of a portion of a value belt which, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, is included within the aperture belt of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a cut away side view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of one side of the apparatus.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a down card hiding flap and sliding door.

FIG. 7 is a top view of a hole card hiding flap.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view of a detail in the construction of the apparatus.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In the broad sense, the invention is an apparatus comprising a housing; a value belt positioned within said housing having a plurality of indices on a first rectangular grid pattern thereon, the indices being equally separated from each other; an aperture belt positioned within said housing in parallel alignment within or without said value belt and having a plurality of apertures therein alignable with at least a portion of the indices of said value belt, said aperture belt differing in length from said value belt by an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices; a means for moving both said value belt and said aperture belt an equal distance along their lengths, said distance being an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices, said moving means preferable being detachably contactable with said value belt and said aperture belt; and a means attached to said housing for concealing or displaying at least a portion of said apertures.

The invention will be still better understood by refer- I ence to the detailed description of the drawings which follows.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The preferred embodiment of the invention is a device to automatically shuffle and deal a seven card or less hand to each of two players and then to selectively disclose successive cards as the rules of the game may prescribe. The game may be for example, Five Card Stud, Seven Card Stud, or Black Jack. The embodiment described in the drawings is capable of dealing over 5,000 different hands before repeating. This will make it extremely unlikely that a player will have the opportunity of memorizing card sequences. In other embodiments of the invention a much larger number of nonrepeating hands can be obtained by using longer belt lengths.

The term means for concealing or disclosing may at first glance appear contradictory. What is meant by the term is a means which in some instances is useful to conceal all or a portion of the plurality of apertures and is also useful in some other instances, e.g., in some of its positions, to disclose or otherwise make visible to a player all or a portion of the plurality of apertures.

FIG. I illustrates a preferred embodiment of the apparatus of the present invention in some detail. The apparatus or game I is enclosed in a housing 2. The housing 2 is preferably constructed of an opaque material. The housing has two opaque doors 3 and 4, which slide back to expose successive card values one or more at a time. When closed, the sliding doors comprise a means for concealing a portion of the card values from a player or players. Door 3 has a flap 5 attached thereto.

The flap 5, as shown in FIG. 6, has a nub 6 protruding from a side thereof. The nub 6 rests in the groove 7, as shown in FIG. 5, until the combination of the sliding door 4 and the flap 5 have exposed six cards. The sliding door 3 as illustrated in FIG. 6, has a lip 55 on each side thereof, the lips 55 fitting slidably within the groove 7 shown in FIG. 5. The sixth card exposed in FIG. 5 would be the 10 of diamonds. The abbreviations S, H, D and C are used in the drawings to represent spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs respectively. Once the sixth card has been exposed by pushing the sliding door 3 back to the sixth position, the nub 6 enters the channel 8 which provides a path for rotating the flap 5 upward with the use of flap handle 57 whereby the player whose sliding door is 3 may view the down card, in this case, the six of diamonds, without his opponent being able to see his card. This feature is necessary for Seven Card Stud because of the rule of this game which decrees that the seventh card be dealt face downward. Sliding door 4 is similarly equipped with a flap 9 which is operable only after six cards have been exposed by sliding the sliding door 4 along the top of the housing 2. The flap is hinged to the sliding door 3 by the hinge 10 and the pin 11.

A hole card cover 12 is shown in FIG. 1 for use by the player using door 3. A simlar hole card cover would normally be used for the other player but is omitted from FIG. 1 to provide a clearer view of other portions of the apparatus. FIG. 7 shows the hole card cover 12 in greater detail. In particular, a hinge I3 is shown along with a wire 14 which passes through the hinge. As is shown in FIG. 1 the wire 14 may be attached in the holes 15, one of which is shown in FIG. 1 and the other of which is opposite the shown hole 15, whereby two cards will be hole cards, or may alternatively be attached in the holes 16, one of which is shown in FIG. 1, whereby one hole card will be concealed, as for example, to play Five Card Stud. The holes 17 and the holes 18 are similarly used to position a hole card cover which, as was previously stated, is not shown in FIG. 1 for purposes of clarity.

FIG. 1 further shows a portion of the aperture belt 19 and a portion of the value belt 20. In particular, four of the card values 21 of the value belt are shown. Drive holes 22 in aperture belt 19 are also illustrated. Further illustrated is the drive portion 24 of the aperture belt and a slot 25 wherein a knob 26 may be moved to advance the aperture belt and the value belt together thereby in effect shuffling (or bringing new cards to the playing surface) the deck of cards represented on the value belt.

Referring now primarily to FIG. 2, a portion of the aperture belt 19 is illustrated in detail. The belt comprises two aperture portions 27 and 28, respectively, one on each side of the drive portion 24. Each aperture portion contains a plurality of apertures 29, one aperture being provided for each row of the value belt 20. The pattern of apertures in aperture portion 27 of the belt 19 is identical to that in aperture portion 28 thereby assuring, in conjunction with the placement of card values upon the value belt 20, that it is impossible to disclose an identical card to each of the two players utilizing the apparatus 1. The numerals 30 and 31 have been used to represent respectively the front end and the rear end of the aperture belt 16. The drive holes 22 are also shown.

FIG. 3 illustrates a portion of the value belt 20 in detail. The belt comprises two card value grids 32 and 33, respectively, one on either side of the centrally located drive portion 34. Each of the grid portions has four columns A, B, C, and D. A total of 14 rows a, b, n is illustrated in FIG. 3 but it is understood that the value belt in the preferred embodiment is 52 rows in length before returning to row a. For convenience, the front end of the value belt has been designated 35 and the rear end thereof has been designated 36.

As will be apparent particularly from FIGS. 1, 4, and 5, the value belt 20 is placed within the aperture belt 19 and some of the plurality of card values 21 of the value belt 20 are visible through the apertures 29 of the aperture belt. As is further apparent from examination of FIG. 3, each of the grids of card values are mirror images of each other taken about a line passing through the drive holes 23. For convenience of the players, the card values on the left hand side of the belt, are set up for reading from the front 35 of the card belt and the values on the right hand side of the belt are set up for reading from the rear 36 of the card value belt.

With the aperture belt 19 of FIG. 2 placed over the value belt 20 of FIG. 3, it is clear that due to the above delineated arrangement of the card values on the value belt and of the apertures on the aperture belt, it would be impossible for the player utilizing sliding door 3 to have any cards identical to any of the cards dealt to the player using the sliding door 4.

FIG. 4 illustrates in some detail the specific mechanisms within the housing 1 which are used to control the aperture belt 19 and the value belt 20. As stated previously, the value belt 20 is positioned within the aperture belt 19. Both belts pass over the belt guide 37 and over the rollers 38 and 39. A difference in paths occurs where the aperture belt 19 passes around the post 40 whereas the value belt 20 passes around the post 41. The posts 40 and 41 are separated from each other by approximately a distance, L, wherein 2L represents the grid separation betwen successive card values on the value belt.

Referring now to FIG. 8, the action of the shuffling knob 26 will be explained in detail. The knob 26 has a top 42 which connects with a shank 43 which in turn connects with a belt advancing member 44 having a front portion 45 adapted to enter any two aligned drive holes 22 and 23 in aperture belt 19 and value belt 20 respectively. The front portion 45 of the belt advancing member 44 is inserted through any two of drive holes 22 and 23 by pushing forward the shuffling knob 26. The front portion 45 is thereby forced through the first available set of drive holes 22 and 23 so that it encounters and enters the channel 46. The knob 26 is held in place and rides within the slot 25 by use of the widened portion 56 at the rear of the belt advancing member 44. Advancing the knob 26 the full distance from one end to the other of the slot 25 leads to the advance of the two belts a total of seven value lengths. By different selection of the length of the slot 25, different (than seven value lengths) amounts of advance can be obtained.

It has been found highly desirable to construct both the aperture belt 19 and the card value belt 20 out of a material which will resist tearing since if such a material is not used, the drive holes 22 and 23 may be damaged by the use of the shufi'ling knob 26. Especially useful is a paperlike appearing material made from high density polyethylene fibers by spinning and thermobonding. A material used successfully to produce an apparatus in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the invention is marketed by Dupont under the trademark TYVEK. It would of course be possible to use a less strong material for the aperture belt and the value belt but in that case, it would be advisable to reinforce the drive holes 22 and 23 as, for example, by sealing metal strips or the like to the aperture belt and value belt, said strips having holes aligned with the drive holes 22 and 23.

Key to the devices operation is the presence of two movable synchronized belts lying one over the other. The usually inner value belt contains an imprinted pattern of playing card values and the usually outer aperture belt has a pattern of apertures through which certain cards can show. The card belt is divided into four vertical columns of 52 cards each as is shown in FIG. 3, the columns being labeled A, B, C, and D. Column Acontains 52 images of a standard playing card deck disposed in a random sequence. Column B contains the exact same sequence as Column A except that there is a 13 card displacement. Another 13 card displacement is made in Column C and a still further 13 card displacement is in column D. As will be apparent from examination of FIG. 3 in any 13 card length of the belt there exists a complete 52 card deck in the four columns with no duplication.

The aperture belt is dimensionally the same as the card belt except that it is an integral number of card values longer, for example, one card value longer, three card values longer, etc. To insure a maximum number of non-repeated deals" it is preferable that the integral number of card values not be a factor of 52 (other than I). In other words, the aperture belt can have four columns of, forexample, 53 card lengths. Apertures of a size adapted to making visible the card values on the card value belt are cut into the aperture belt in a random pattern such that in each horizontal row of four cards on the card value belt, only one card may be seen through the aperture. In short, there are 53 holes in the aperture belt randomly placed in columns corresponding to columns A, B, C, and D of the card value belt. FIG. 2 illustrates the placement of apertures in the aperture belt.

In use, the two belts are moved together at the same speed and exactly the same distance using the knobshuffler 26. Internal to the device, the belt paths are different in that the aperture belt must travel an integral number, for example I, 3, 5, etc. card value lengths further in its round trip through the device. This is illustrated in detail in FIG. 4. With each round trip of the card belt, the aperture belt increments itself a number of cards equal to the. excess length of the aperture belt over that of thecard value belt in relation to the card value belt. In this fashion, when the integral number is, for example 1, 52 times 53 or 2,756 different hands are generated for each player. Although not illustrated in the drawings, it is contemplated that the value and aperture belts be movedother than an equal distance along their lengths so long as said distance is an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices.

In shuffling the cards, the mechanism used is as follows. Drive holes 22 and 23, similar to sprocket holes, are equally spaced, one cardvalue length apart, down the centers of the card value belt and the aperture belt. These holes have a one for one correlation with each horizontal row of cards and with each aperture. Thus, moving, for example, three drive holes moves three rows of cards or moving five drive holes moves five rows of cards. The belts are moved together and kept synchronized by pushing a small shufiler knob 26 over the drive portion 24 of the aperture belt 19 whereby the front portion 45 of belt advancing member 44 engages the drive hole 22 and 23 in the aperture belt and card value belt, respectively. A channel 46 in the belt guide 37 beneath the two belts and aligned with the row of drive holes 22 and 23 permits positive engagement of the slider withthe drive holes.

With full throw operation of the shuffler knob 26 (from one end of slot 25* to the other) two new sets of cards are presented on the playing surface facing each of two players. This is generally done with both of sliding doors 3 and 4 closedas far as hole card cover 12. By the use of the hinged hole card cover 12 and the detentes 47 of sliding doors 3 and 4, cards may be dealt to each playerin the sequence and manner prescribed by the rules of a particular card game. With the use of the hinged hole card cover 12, cards dealt face down may be viewed by the individual player without exposing them to the opponent. Cards dealt face up are exposed to both players by moving the detented sliding doors 3 and 4, one detent for each card dealt.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 6, the operation of the detent mechanism is as follows. Doors 3 and 4 are generally made of a hard plastic material. A raised portion 48 of each of doors 3 and 4 is formed by slitting each of the doors 3 and 4 alongthe cut lines 49 and 50 and providing a detent engaging nub Sll below said raised portion 48in position to engage the detent holes 47. A handle 52 is provided which covers the raised portion 48. When either of the doors 3 and 5 is moved further along the detented portion 54 of the housing 2 so as to expose an additional card, the nub 51 is moved from one detent hole to the next. Due to the resiliency of the material of the doors 3 and 4, the nub 51 is forced downwardly into the next detent hole.

A peculiarity of Seven Card Stud Poker is that the seventh card is dealt face down (a down card) to be viewed only by the individual player until such a time as he may decide to turn it over. This feature is provided in the flaps 5 and 9 when used in conjunction with the channels8 for opening said flaps. As will be seen by examination of FIG. 5, the flaps 5 and 9 can be opened only when the sliding door is in one of the sixth or seventh card positions. The individual player with the sliding door in the sixth position may raise his flap 5 or 9 to see his seventh (down) card without showing it to his opponent. The levers 57 are provided to facilitate the raising of flaps S and 9, respectively. To expose this seventh card to his opponent, the player lowers the flap and moves the sliding door one more detente to its last (seventh) position. The nub 6 moves over the ledge 53 when the sliding door is moved to the seventh position thereby raisling the flap 5 or 6 atop the detented portion 54 of the housing 2 and sliding the door back to uncover the seventh cardto both players.

It will be apparent that in some card games, for example, Black Jack, it is not necessary that each of the participants in the game have different cards. In fact, a number of casinos in Nevada utilize two, three, or even four decks of cards to minimize shuffling of the deck. Thus, it is obvious that more than two playing positions would be provided by using a wider belt and by providing a number of randomly oriented sets of playing card values on a playingcard value belt and of apertures on an aperture belt. If more than two playing positions are provided, preferably the positions will be placed far apart from each other so that each player sees only his own cards and not those of the player next adjacent him. Also, other games than card games can be played utilizing an apparatus produced in accordance with the present invention. For example, other indices than card values, e. g., alpha and/or numerical values, may be useful for some games.

In general, the grid pattern on the value belt will be rectangular and will comprise N columns along the width of said value belt by M rows along the length thereof, M being equal to the total number of indices in a first set of nonrepeating indices, the length of said 7 value belt being at least M times the separation of the indices from each other along the length of said value belt, and M/N being an integer. FIG. 3 illustrates clearly the N columns A, B, C, and D and a portion of the M rows a, b, .n.

As can be seen in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3, the value belt preferably includes a second rectangular grid pattern running along the length of said value belt adjacent said first rectangular grid pattern and having a second set of the same M nonrepeating indices thereon, said second grid pattern being N columns along the width of said belt by M rows along the length thereof, the indices comprising said second set of nonrepeating indices being arranged in a mirror image relationship to the arrangement of said first set of nonrepeating indices, said mirror image relationship being about a dividing line running lengthwise said value belt between said first and second grid patterns, for example, through the drive holes 23 of the value belt 20. When the apparatus includes a second rectangular grid pattern, the aperture belt includes a second plurality of apertures therein alignable with at least a portion of the indices comprising said second set of M nonrepeating indices, wherein said second plurality of apertures form an identical value pattern, row for row and column for column, with the value pattern formed by the apertures alignable with at least a portion of the indices comprising said first rectangular grid pattern. FIG. 2 illustrates the identical patterns of apertures of the first and second plurality of apertures 27 and 28 on the aperture belt 19.

When the value belt contains a second rectangular grid and the aperture belt 19 contains a second plurality of apertures, the apparatus of the invention includes a second concealing or disclosing means, said second concealing or disclosing means being adapted for concealing or disclosing at least a portion of said second plurality of apertures. In FIG. 1, the sliding door 4 in conjunction with the flap 9 and in some games with a hole card cover identical to 12 but with its wire 14 placed in the holes 17 or the holes 18 and also in combination with the rest of the housing would constitute the second concealing or disclosing means.

For use with many card games and the like, it is desirable to ensure that no two players receive the same card. This can be accomplished by providing that each of said N columns in each grid pattern contains a complete set of M nonrepeating indices arranged in a definite order and each abutting column, for example, Columns A and B or Columns B and C or Columns C and D in FIG. 3 contains said set of M nonrepeating indices arranged in the same order but offset by M/N spaces along the column length from the abutting column. To further assure that no two players will have the same card exposed, the plurality of apertures should comprise a single aperture per row M of said value belts per each plurality of apertures. Further, the pattern of apertures in each plurality of apertures should be identical. In the case of a normal 52 card playing deck and two players, the indices comprise the values of playing cards, M is 52 and N is 4.

If one wished to increase the number of hands which could be dealt without a hand being repeated, one could accomplish this by increasing the length of the aperture belt 19. The total number of nonrepeating hands per player would then be equal to the number of rows M in the value belt 20 multiplied by the number of rows of apertures in the aperture belt 19, which would be M plus an integer, which integer could be as large as desired. Thus, the total number of differing hands would be 52 (M) times M plus R where R represents the number of rows by which the total number of rows in the aperture belt exceeds the total number of rows in the value belt. Alternatively or additionally, the apparatus of the present invention can be constructed so that new aperture and/or card value belts can be inserted therein.

As had been pointed out above, for games such as Black Jack, where it is not necessary that each of the players not receive identical cards, the value belt 20 may contain additional rectangular grid patterns thereon having cards or other indices indicated in said grid pattern and the aperture belt may likewise contain additional apertures alignable with at least a portion of the card values or other indices.

As has been preciously set out and as shown in detail in FIGS. 1 and 4, for certain games such as Seven Card Stud and Five Card Stud, it is desirable to have a means for shielding the first and sometimes the second card dealt from the opposing player. The shielding means shown are the hole card cover 12 and the flaps 5 and 9.

FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 illustrate the aperture and value belts and the apparatus of the invention including drive portions parallel to the length of said belts and integral therewith, said drive portions of the aperture belt and the value belt being alignable with each other, each of said drive portions containing a plurality of drive holes passing therethrough, said drive holes in said value belt being alignable with said drive holes in said aperture belt, the separation of successive of said drive holes being equal to the separation of the card values along the length of said value belt and also equal to the separation of the apertures along the length of the aperture belt and wherein the belts moving means comprising a knob 26 having an appendage insertable through one of the drive holes in said value belt and a corresponding drive hole in said aperture belt.

As is shown most clearly in FIG. 4, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, the aperture belt 19 is longer than the value belt 20, and the value belt 20 and the aperture belt 19 are positioned in parallel alignment by locating the value belt 20 within the aperture belt 19.

As is illustrated most clearly in FIG. 1, it is preferred that the first and second concealing or disclosing means each include a plurality of means for stopping said concealing or disclosing means at integral multiples of the separation along the length of said value belt of said card values whereby moving said concealing or disclosing means from one of said stopping means to the next reveals a single card value. The stopping means shown in FIG. 1 are the detent holes 47 when used in conjunction with the nub 51 shown in FIG. 6.

In an embodiment of the invention not illustrated in the drawings, playing positions for four players can be provided for wherein, for example, Stud Poker can be played and wherein none of the four players will have any cards dealt" to him which are the same as cards dealt" to another player. In this embodiment, the aperture belt has four pluralities of apertures and the value belt has four rectangular grids. Two of the rectangular grids and two of the pluralities of apertures can be located to one side of the drive portions of the aperture and value belts and the other two rectangular grids and the other two pluralities of apertures can be located on the other side of the drive portions. The card values can be arranged in precisely the same order on each of the rectangular grids, e.g., as in the left hand portion of the two grid belt shown in FIG. 3. The apertures in each of the rows of apertures in the furthest left plurality of apertures can be determined as random from the four available positions. The apertures in each of the rows of the next (to the right) plurality of apertures can then be determined at random from the three remaining available positions per row. The apertures in each of the rows of the third from the left plurality of apertures can then be determined at random from the two remaining available positions per row. The apertures in each of the rows of the furthest to the right plurality of apertures is also determined by the selection of the positions of the apertures in the third from the left plurality of apertures and consists of those apertures not already selected in each of the rows of the other three pluralities of apertures.

As stated above, in the broadest sense the aperture belt can be positioned either within or without the value belt. In the preferred embodiment illustrated, the aperture belt is positioned without the value belt. It is, however, contemplated that the aperture belt be placed within the value belt and optical or electrical means, e.g., mirrors, electrical contacts which sense the card value, or the like can be used to make the card values visible to the player.

The apparatus of the present invention has been described in considerable detail for use in card playing. The apparatus can be used however for other purposes than card playing. Thus the indices shown in the value belt need not be related to the values of playing cards but can instead if desired, be numerical values, alphanumerical values, letters, or the like.

While the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, it will be understood that it is capable of further modification, and this application is intended to cover any variations, uses or adaptations of the invention following, in general, the principles of the invention and including such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which the invention pertains and as may be applied to the essential features hereinbefore set forth, and as fall within the scope of the invention and the limits of the appended claims.

That which is claimed is:

1. An apparatus, comprising:

a housing;

a value belt positioned within said housing having a plurality of indices in a first rectangular grid pattern thereon, the indices being equally separated from each other along the length of said value belt;

an aperture belt positioned within said housing in parallel alignment with said value belt and having a plurality of apertures thereon alignable with at least a portion of the indices of said value belt, said aperture belt differing in length from said value belt by an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices;

a means for moving both said value belt and said aperture belt distances along their lengths, said distances each being an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices; and

a means attached to said housing for concealing or disclosing at least a portion of said apertures.

2. An apparatus as in claim 1 wherein said belts moving means is detachably contactable with said value belt and said aperture belt.

3. An apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said belts moving means includes a means for stopping said belts at an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices.

4. An apparatus as in claim ll, wherein said grid pattern comprises N columns along the width of said value belt by M rows along the length thereof, M being equal to the total number of indices in a first set of nonrepeating indices, the length of said value belt being at least M times the separation of the indices from each other along the length of said value belt, and M/N being a integer.

5. An apparatus as in claim 4 wherein said value belt includes a second rectangular grid pattern running along the length of said value belt adjacent said first rectangular grid pattern and having a second set of the same M non-repeating indices thereon, said second grid pattern being N columns along the width of said value belt by M rows along the length thereof, the indices comprising said second set of non-repeating indices being arranged in a mirror image relationship to the arrangement of said first set of non-repeating indices, said mirror image relationship being about a dividing line running lengthwise of said value belt between said first and second grid patterns, and wherein said aperture belt includes a second plurality of apertures therein alignable with at least a portion of the indices comprising said second set of M non-repeating indices, said second plurality of apertures forming an identical pattern of apertures, row for row and column for column, with the pattern formed by the apertures alignable with at least a portion of the indices comprising said first rectangular grid pattern, and including a second means second concealing or disclosing at least a portion of said second plurality of apertures.

6. An apparatus as in claim 5, wherein each of said N columns in each grid pattern contains a complete set of M non-repeating indices arranged in a definite order and each abutting column contains said set in the same order but offset by M/N spaces along the column length from the abutting column.

7. An apparatus as in claim 6 wherein each of said pluralities of apertures comprises a single aperture per row of said value belt in each of said plurality of apertures.

8. An apparatus as in claim 7, wherein said indices comprise the values of playing cards, M i552 and N is 4 9. An apparatus as in claim 8, wherein said first and second concealing or disclosing means each include a means for shielding a down card from observation by other than a player using said first or second concealing or disclosing means, respectively.

10. An apparatus as in claim 9, wherein said value belt and said aperture belt each include a drive portion parallel to the length thereof and integral therewith, said drive portions being aligned with each other, each of said drive portions containing a plurality of drive holes passing therethrough. said drive holes in said value belt being aligned with said drive holes in said aperture belt, the separation of successive of said drive holes being equal to the separation of the card values along the length of the said value belt and also to the separation of the apertures along the length of the aperture belt and wherein said belts moving means comprises a knob having an appendage insertable through one of the drive holes in said value belt and a corresponding drive hole in said aperture belt.

11. An apparatus as in claim 10, wherein said aperture belt is longer than said valve belt and said value belt and said aperture belt are positioned in parallel alignment by locating said value belt within said aperture belt.

12. An apparatus as wherein claim 9, wherein said first and second concealing or disclosing means each include a plurality of means for stopping said concealing or disclosing means at an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said card values whereby moving said concealing or disclosing means from one of said plurality of stopping means to the next adjacent stopping means exposes a single card value.

13. An apparatus, comprising:

a housing;

a value belt having a plurality of indices in a plurality of rectangular grid patterns thereon, the indices in each of said grid patterns being equally separated from each other along the length of said value belt, said value belt being positioned within said housmg;

an aperture belt positioned within said housing in parallel alignment with said value belt and having a plurality of pluralities of apertures thereon alignable with at least a portion of the indices of said value aperture said aperture belt differing in length from said value belt by an integral multiple of the separation along the length of said value belt of said indices;

a means for moving both said value belt and said aperture belt an equal distance along their lengths; and

a means attached to said housing for concealing or disclosing at least a portion of each of the plurality of pluralities of apertures.

14. An appparatus as in claim 13, wherein said plurality or rectangular grid patterns comprises two of said patterns and said plurality of pluralities of apertures comprises two pluralities of apertures.

15. An apparatus as in claim 13, wherein said plurality of rectangular grid patterns comprises four of said patterns and said plurality of pluralities of apertures comprises four pluralities of apertures.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6578848 *Nov 22, 2000Jun 17, 2003Team Smartypants!, Inc.Game with moveable play space
US7575235 *Dec 29, 2005Aug 18, 2009Belill Francis GPlaying card apparatus and method of concealing and displaying playing cards
US7694968 *Jan 17, 2007Apr 13, 2010William A. Sims, legal representativePlaying card viewer
US8302970 *Feb 10, 2011Nov 6, 2012Joseph MontanoInteractive gaming apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/281, 273/292
International ClassificationA63F1/00, A63F1/06, A63F1/12
Cooperative ClassificationA63F1/12, A63F1/06
European ClassificationA63F1/06, A63F1/12