US 3923305 A
A combined game of chance and skill which is a modified form of the popular gambling game known as craps. The game includes a game board having a playing position at one end, a curved rebound bumper at the other end thereof, and a drop-off ledge dividing the game board into upper and lower playing surfaces with the lower playing surface having a plurality of puck-receiving members movably mounted thereon for actuating associated indicators. A puck-propelling mechanism is movably mounted at the playing position of the game board so that the shooter may select one die value and is adapted to propel a puck along the upper playing surface and over the lower playing surface to impact with the curved rebound bumper, bounce off and be propelled along the lower playing surface until the puck drops into one of the puck-receiving members and actuates its associated indicator to indicate the other die value and the results of the play.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Reiner et al.
[ 1 Dec. 2, 1975 COMBINED GAME OF CHANCE AND SKILL  Inventors: Lawrence L. Reiner, 1 Hickory Lane, Woodbury, L.I., N.Y. 11797; William A. Brady, 201 Cross St., Fort Lee, NJ. 07024  Filed: Feb. 4, 1974  Appl. No.: 439,212
17,690 10/1891 United Kingdom 273/126 R Primary ExaminerPaul E. Shapiro Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Amster & Rothstein  ABSTRACT A combined game of chance and skill which is a modified form of the popular gambling game known as craps. The game includes a game board having a playing position at one end, a curved rebound bumpe'r at the other end thereof, and a drop-off ledge dividing the game boardinto upper and lower playing surfaces with the lower playing surface having a plurality of puck-receiving members movably mounted thereon for actuating associated indicators. A puck-propelling  References Cited mechanism is movably mounted at the playing posi- UNITED STATES PATENTS tion of the game board so that the shooter may select one die value and is adapted to propel a puck along 1,257,174 2/1918 Bailey 273/126 R the pp Surface and Over the lower p yi g 1,590,264 6/1926 Swe1gart 273/129 UX surface to impact w1th the curved rebound bumper, 1,919,094 7/1933 Cuchran 273/129 UX ff b H l 2,642,058 6/1953 Murphy 273/129 R x bounce 0 e Prope ed along the playmg 2,719,040 9/1955 Fischer 1 1. 273/126 R Surface the Puck drops one of the Puck 3,807,735 4/1974 Barlow 273/R x receiving members and actuates its associated indicator to indicate the other die value and the results of FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS the play 385,110 12/1932 United Kingdom 273/118 D 512,961 3/1939 United Kingdom 273 129 R 2 Claims, 8 Drawmg g s lq- 3 I! 14 r [74 Md 53;, a 1 III 1 I II I 70 k M b :2 g] D \h g x, m b B S m I, 5 R t .40 I
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O o l 1 1 [I 11 l ("I US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 1 of 2 3,923,305
US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 Sheet 2 of2 3,923,305
/ x24 j 7% Ill COMBINED GAME OF CHANCE AND SKILL This invention relates generally to a combined game of chance and skill and, more particularly, to a game which is a modified form of the popular gambling game known as craps.
Throughout the years, various dice games have become popular and are played by both children and adults. One such popular dice game is craps in which each player takes turns in shooting the dice. In one popular form of the game of craps, the player must use the dice to shoot for a 7 or 11 on the first throw without shooting a 2, 3 or 12. However, if the shooter does not obtain any of these combinations on his first throw of the dice, the number obtained becomes his point which he must try and duplicate on subsequent throws before shooting a 7 in order to win. If the shooter does not make his or her point on subsequent throws and shoots a 7, he loses and the next player takes his or her turn in shooting the dice.
Although the foregoing game has substantial play value and is interesting and intriguing both to children and adults, still further excitement could be generated by introducing further player controls which would determine the play and outcome of the game. As a new dimension or variable is added to the players skill or control, further variants and modifications of such games can be created which will have enhanced play value and substantial consumer interest.
The present invention is directed to a modified form of the game of craps. More particularly, instead of each player shooting dice at random as in craps, a dice selector or puck-propelling mechanism is used to determine and select which die values each player will receive. In the play of the game, the player selects one die value by positioning the puck-propelling mechanism in any of six positions which have indicia corresponding to the six sides of a die. The player then selects the other die value by using the novel puck-propelling mechanism to propel an indicating puck towards puck-receiving pockets each of which has indicia corresponding to one side of a die. Accordingly, rather than shooting dice completely at random, each player has the opportunity of using his or her skill to propel the indicating puck and shoot for particular die values to obtain a 7 or 11 on the first throw or the necessary point on subsequent throws. In this manner, a new dimension of skill has been added to the play of the conventional game of craps and enhances the play value thereof by lending greater interest and excitement to this well-known game.
Accordingly, it is an overall object of the present invention to provide a combined dice game of chance and skill which is like the conventional game of craps, but has an interesting and new dimension of skill and control in the play thereof. In its commercial form, the game is portable, is of relatively simple construction, is readily manufactured by mass production techniques at relatively low cost and includes a number of simple and relatively indestructible components.
In accordance with an illustrative embodiment demonstrating objects and features of the present invention, there is provided a combined game of chance and skill which includesa game board or playing field having a playing position at one end thereof and a curved rebound bumper at the other end thereof. A drop-off ledge divides the game board into an upper playing surface extending between the playing position and the drop-off ledge and a lower playing surface extending between the drop-off ledge and the curved rebound bumper. A plurality of puck-receiving pockets are pivotally mounted on the lower playing surface and are each provided with associated indicia panels corresponding to the die values on the side of a die and which are operable to appear at a window. At the playing position of the game board, a puck-propelling mechanism is movably mounted between six indicia stations, each having indicia corresponding to the die value on one side of a die. Accordingly, in the play of the game, the shooter positions the puck-propelling mechanism at any of the six indicia stations to select one die value and selects the other die value by using the puck-propelling mechanism to propel an indicating puck from the selected indicia station at the playing position, along the upper playing surface of the game board and over the lower playing surface with sufficient momentum to impact with the curved rebound bumper. The indicating puck bounces off of the bumper and is propelled along the lower playing surface until the indicating puck drops into one of the puckreceiving pockets and actuates the pivotally mounted pocket so that its associated indicia panel appears at the window to indicate the other die value and the results of the play.
As in the conventional game of craps, the object of the present combined game of chance and skill is for each player to obtain a 7 or 11 on the first play without shooting a 2, 3 or 12, or to duplicate his or her point on subsequent plays without obtaining a 7. However, in the present game, the player obtains each die value of the necessary dice combination in a novel manner. More particularly, each player selects the first die value of his dice combination by moving the puck-propelling mechanism to one of the six stations at the playing position and thereby selects the associated indicia which corresponds to the die value on one side of a die, for example, 5. To obtain the second die value in the dice combination, the shooter uses the puck-propelling mechanism to shoot for a puck-receiving pocket which is assigned a desired die value, for example, 2. Accordingly, in the game of the present invention, the player may improve his or her shooting skill to improve the chances of obtaining desired die values, whereas in the conventional game of craps, the most each player can do is determine what the probability is of shooting for a desired dice combination. Accordingly, a new dimension of skill and control has been added to the conventional game of craps which thereby enhances the play value thereof. Of course, the present apparatus may be used to play any other dice games in which dice are used to determine the outcome at random. In addition, the indicia of this game may be changed so that the apparatus may be used to play a wide variety of other games including, for example, but without limitation, versions of bingo, word games and the like.
The above description as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of the presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a representative form of the game of the present invention, illustrating the puckpropelling mechanism propelling a puck into one of the puck-receiving pockets;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the game of the present invention illustrating in detail the pivotally mounted puck-receiving pockets;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view, taken substantially along the line 33 in FIG. 1 and looking in the direction of the arrows, illustrating further details of one of the puck-receiving pockets of the present invention in its non-indicating position.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view illustrating a puck-receiving pocket actuated to its indicating position by the receipt of a puck;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary front elevational view, taken along the lines 55 in FIG. 3 and looking in the direction of the arrows, with parts broken away, illustrating the puck-receiving pockets with one in its indicating position;
FIG. 6 is a top plan view, with parts broken away and in section, illustrating details of the puck-propelling mechanism of the present invention;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view, taken substantially along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6 and looking in the direction of the arrows, illustrating the puck-propelling mechanism cocked and ready to shoot the indicating puck; and
FIG. 8 is a sectional view of the puck-propelling mechanism after the indicating puck has been propelled therefrom.
Referring now specifically to the drawings and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown an illustrative game embodying features of the present invention, generally designated by the reference numeral 10 which includes a game board 12 supported by a frame 14. Game board 12 includes a central playing field 16 and betting areas 18, 20 on either side of the central playing field 16 A puck-propelling mechanism 22 is movably mounted on central playing field 16 for propelling an indicating puck 24 into one of a plurality of puckreceiving members 26 which are pivotally ,mount'ed on central playing field 16 and which are adapted to receive indicating puck 24 when propelled therealong by puck-propelling mechanism 22, in a mannenwhich will be described below.
In this illustrative form of the invention, which is particularly designed for the play of craps, six chip-storing areas 28 for up to six players surround game board 12 and are formed in the top of frame 14. Accordingly, in this illustrative form of the invention, up to six players may be situated around game board 12 using their respective chips to bet on each play made by the shooter operating puck-propelling mechanism 22. In addition, betting areas 18, 20 are adapted to receive various indicia or betting cards 30 so that the players may bet on each play of the shooter and place their chips on betting cards 30 to indicate their bets. It should be understood, of course, that betting card 30 is of representative form only and any betting card may be placed on betting areas 18, 20 in accordance with the particular variation and rules of the game of craps which is being played.
As may be seen most clearly in FIGS. 1 and 3, central playing field 16 is defined at one end by playing position 32 and at the other end by a curved rebound bumper 34. At playing position 32, a longitudinally extending slot 36 having downwardly extending walls 36c is formed in central playing field 16 so that puckpropelling mechanism 22 may be moved to various indicia stations along slot 36. More particularly, longitudinally extending slot 36 includes a plurality of indentations 36a formed in the sides thereof to define shooting positions or indicia stations 36b for puck-propelling mechanism 22. In this illustrative form of the invention, six indentations 36a are formed along longitudinally extending slot 36 to define six shooting positions or stations 36b for puck-propelling mechanism 22. In addition, six indicia markings 38 are formed on playing surface 16 adjacent the six stations 36b with each indicia marking 38 corresponding to a respective shooting position or station 36b along slot 36. Each indicia marking 38 represents and corresponds to one of the six faces of a conventional six-sided cubical die. Accordingly, the shooter may move puck-propelling mechanism 22 to any of the six shooting positions 36b and thereby select the associated die value as part of his two-dice combination. At the other end of playing field l6, curved rebound bumper 34 is formed from a suitable elastic material to absorb some of the impact of indicating puck 24 and propel it in the opposite direction towards puck-receiving pockets 26a, as will be explained.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, central playing field 16 is provided with a drop-off ledge 40 which divides playing field 16 into an upper playing surface 42 and a lower playing surface 44. Upper playing surface 42 extends between playing position 32 and drop-off ledge 40 whereas lower playing surface 44 extends between and is defined by drop-off ledge 40 and rebound bumper 34. As shown in FIG. 1, upper playing surface 42 is also provided with six numerical indicia markings 46 corresponding to the six die faces of a conventional cubical die. Each of the six numerical indicia markings 46 are associated with and correspond to one of the six puck-receiving members 26 which are pivotally mounted below lower playing surface 44, as will be explained. In addition, lower playing surface 44 is provided with six holes or cutouts 48 formed adjacent drop-off ledge 40 witheach of the holes 48 being separated by partitions 48a, for a purpose to be explained.
As shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4, the six puck-receiving members 26 are pivotally mounted on frame 14 on the underside of central playing field 16. More particularly, as shown in FIG. 2, frame 14 is provided with mounting tabs 14a for supporting a longitudinally extending rod 14b about which puck-receiving members 26 pivot. Each puck-receiving member 26 includes a puckreceiving pocket 26a formed at one end thereof and an indicia panel 26b formed at the other end thereof. Puck-receiving member 26 also includes a connecting portion 260 which is pivotally mounted between lower playing surface 44 and longitudinally extending rod 14b so that puck-receiving member 26 may pivot about rod 14b between a non-indicating position and an indicating position. As shown most clearly in FIG. 4, each puck-receiving pocket 26a is adapted to be in alignment with one of the six holes 48 and is of sufficient size to receive and contain indicating puck 24 when it passes through hole 48 with the weight of puck 24 being operable to pivot a puck-receiving member 26 in a counterclockwise direction about rod 14 b to its indicating position. In this manner, the indicia panel 26b of a puck-receiving member 26 is brought into engagement with one of a series of windows 14c formed in frame 14 (See FIG. 5). Windows l4c'are formed with translucent panels 14d so that indicia panels 26b are not visible through panels 14d unless an indicia panel 26b is in direct engagement with a translucent panel 14d. Each of the indiciapahels 26b are provided with indicia corresponding to one of the six'die faceesof a die. In this illustrative form of the invention, indicia panel 26b is provided with indicia holes 26d corresponding in arrangement to the dots formed on a conventional die face. In this manner, when indicating puck 24 is received in a puck-receiving'pocket 26a, the puck-receiving member 26pivots about rod 14b and indicia panel 26b is actuated into engagement with translucent panel 14d and indicia holes 26d are visible through window 14c, as shown in FIG. 5.
In order for the shooter to propel indicating puck 24 along central playing field 16 to actuate a puckreceiving member 26 and its associated indicia panel 26b, there is provided a puck-propelling mechanism 22, as shown most clearly in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. Puckpropelling mechanism "22 includes a housing 50 mounted on'a base 52. Base52 includes a stem 52a which extends through longitudinally extending slot 36 so that puck-propelling mechanism 22 may be moved along slot 36. In addition, base 52 includes an abutment 52b which prevents puck-propelling mechanism 22 from being removed from slot 36 and a ;post 52c mounted on abutment 52b. Accordingly, as the shooter rotates puck-propelling mechanism22 to aim for a par-.
ticular puck-receiving pocket 26a, post 52c will engage walls 360 of slot 36 to limit further rotation of puckpropelling mechanism 22. In this illustrative form of the invention, post 520 and walls-36c are arranged to limit the rotation of puck-propelling mechanism 22 through a shooting angle of approximately 90 so that puckpropelling mechanism 22 may be rotated within slot 36 to propel indicating puck 24 towards any point along curved rebound bumper 34.
Housing 50 of puck-propelling mechanism 22 includes an upper circular wall 50a, a lower circular wall 50b, a side wall 50c extending about the circumference of the housing, an opening 50d formed in side wall 500 adapted to receive puck 24, and guide walls 50e. In addition, upper circular wall 50a is provided with an actuating hole 50f and lower circular wall 50b has formed thereon a cam 50g and an upstanding element 50h, all for a purpose to be explained. The interior of housing 50 is provided with a cocking or trigger mechanism 54 for propelling indicating puck 24. More particularly, trigger mechanism 54 includes an arc-shaped wall 54a and a roof 54b which together form a puck-receiving seat 540. Trigger mechanism 54 also includes two longitudinally extending cam followers 54d, 54e which extend within and parallel to guide walls 502 formed in housing 50. Mounted between upstanding element 50h and arc-shaped wall 54a is a spring 54f which is adapted to be compressed therebetween when trigger mechanism 54 is cocked. Trigger mechanism 54 also includes an upper wall 54g having a slot 54h formed therein to form a flexible finger engaging member 54j having a locking member 54k formed on the top thereof which is adapted to be extended through actuating hole 50fformed in the upper circular wall 50a of housing 50.
As shown in FIG. 7, in order to cock trigger mechanism 54, indicating puck 24 is inserted through opening 50d and is pressed into puck-receiving seat 540 with sufficient force to compress spring 54f. As trigger mechanism 54 is being compressed and is moved rear- 'wardly within housing 50, cam followers 54d, 54e are gradually cammed upwardly onto cam 503 until locking member 54k extends through actuating hole 50fto lock trigger mechanism 54 in its cocked position in housing 50. To release trigger mechanism 54 andpropel indicating puck 24, it is only necessary for the shooter to exert a slight downward force on locking member 54k to cause flexible member 54j to be flexed downwardly and thereby remove locking member 54k from actuating hole 50f. This will cause compressed spring 54f to be released and exert a force against trigger mechanism 54 to move it quickly forward within housing 50. This quick forward movement of trigger mechanism 54 is sufficient to propel indicating puck 24 out of housing 50 andalong central playing field 16 with sufficient force to engage and rebound off of curved rebound bumper 34 and slide along lower playing surface 44 until puck 24 drops into one of the puckreceiving pockets 26a.
In order to provide a clear understanding of the apparatus of the present invention, a brief description of the play of the game will now be provided. In atypical use, the apparatus described can be set up to play a variation of the popular game of craps in which the apparatus of the present invention is used by the players to select and determine the die values of the two-dice'combination. To prepare the game for play, playing chips are distributed among the players and suitable betting cards 30 are selected and placed in betting areas 18, 20. One of the players is then selected to be the first shooter and each of the remaining players place their chips on betting cards 30 to bet against the shooter. That is, each player is betting that the shooter will not obtain a 7 or 11 on the first play, but will shoot a 2, 3 or 12, and the players are also betting that the shooter will not duplicate his or her point on subsequent plays, but that the shooter will first obtain a 7.
Once the remaining players have placed their bets on betting cards 30, the shooter selects the first die value of his or her dice combination by moving the puckpropelling mechanism 22 to one of the six indicia stations 36b at playing position 32 and thereby selects the associated indicia 38 which corresponds to the die value on one side of a die, for example, 5. To obtain the second die value in the dice combination, the shooter may rotate puck-propelling mechanism 22 to any position within its shooting angle to aim for a puckreceiving pocket 26a which is assigned a desired die value, for example, 2. Of course, other possible combinations may be selected by the shooter to obtain a 7 or 11 on his or her first play.
Once the shooter has rotated puck-propelling mechanism 22 to the desired shooting angle, the shooter then loads the puck-propelling mechanism 22 with indicating puck 24. This is accomplished by the shooter inserting indicating puck 24 within puck-receiving seat 540 with sufficient force to compress spring 54f and cock trigger mechanism 54, as explained above.
The shooter may then again check to insure that the puck-propelling mechanism 22 has been rotated to the proper shooting angle to obtain the desired puckreceiving pocket 26a and the associated die value 46. The shooter then releases trigger mechanism 54 by applying a slight downward force on locking member 54k, as explained above, and thereby propels indicating puck 24 out of housing 50, along upper playing surface 42, over ledge 40 and lower playing surface 44 with sufficient momentum to impact with and bounce off of curved rebound bumper 34 and be propelled along lower playing surface 44 until indicating puck 24 drops into one of the puck-receiving pockets 26a. As explained above, when indicating puck 24 drops into a particular puck-receiving pocket 26a, its weight is sufficient to pivot puck-receiving member 26 in a counterclockwise direction about rod 14b from its nonindicating position to its indicating position so that its associated indicator panel 26b is brought into alignment and engagement with window 140 so that indicia holes 26d are visible through window panel 14d. Accordingly, to obtain the results of the play, the first die value 38 selected is added to the second die value 46. As in the conventional game of craps, if the shooter obtains a 7 or 1 l on the first play or makes his or her point on subsequent plays, the shooter wins all bets which have been made by the players. However, if the shooter obtains a 2, 3 or 12 on the first play or does not make his point on subsequent plays, the players win their bets and collect from the shooter. The next player in turn then becomes the shooter.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure. Accordingly, it is appropriate that the appended claims be construed broadly and in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A combined game of chance and skill comprising a game board including a playing field having a playing position and a rebound bumper spaced from said playing position, a puck-propelling mechanism, said puckpropelling mechanism including a housing, a trigger mechanism within said housing, said trigger mechanism including a puck-receiving seat for receiving said puck, and locking means for holding said trigger mechanism in a cocked position, said locking means including a cam formed in said housing and a cam follower attached to said puck-receiving seat for camming said trigger mechanism into its cocked position within said housing, said locking means further including an actuating hole formed in said housing and a lock formed on said trigger mechanism adapted to be inserted through said actuating hold to maintain said trigger mechanism in its cocked position, means for mounting said puckpropelling mechanism at said playing position, means dividing said game board into an upper playing surface and a lower playing surface, a plurality of puckreceiving members movably mounted on said lower playing surface, an indicator associated with each of said puck-receiving members and a puck adapted to be propelled by said puck-propelling mechanism from said playing position along said upper playing surface to impact with and bounce off said rebound bumper and be propelled along said lower playing surface until said puck drops into one of said puck-receiving members and actuates said puck-receiving member so that its associated indicator indicates the result of the play.
2. A combined game of chance and skill according to claim 1 wherein said housing includes an abutment and a spring adapted to be compressed by and between said abutment and said puck-receiving seat to store energy within said puck-propelling mechanism.