Sunday, August 03, 2008

July Board and Card Game Patents

Hold'em poker game and deck of cards for playing same - This is a fairly rare patent that is lucidly described. The abstract reads:
A variation of a poker game is shown, with a unique deck of cards. The deck inserts two additional values (11 and 12), and un-suits two values (10s and 11s). The play is substantially equivalent to that of Texas Hold 'Em except that the unsuited cards cannot be used to make flushes or straight flushes, and both hole cards must be used to make a straight, flush, or straight flush.
Simple enough. The question is: what "problem" does this solve? All patents have to prove the necessity of their invention, right?

The answer is: to make the game more skillful. According to the summary, Texas Hold 'Em suffers from too much chance that amateur players will do well, causing them to call when they should fold, to the annoyance of better, more skilled players. His supporting example:
If three players each with only a 20% chance of winning a hand call against a player who has an 80% chance against any one of them, the combined chance of one of the three with 20% odds catching the precise card or cards needed to win is about 60% against the player with the dominant hand. In this case, the dominant hand becomes an underdog.
Right. To sum up, let's get the amateurs out of Texas Hold 'Em by using a new deck of cards.

Couples interactive relationship question and answer board game - The Couple Links board game. The patent cites as prior art The Newlywed Game, and includes a link to Board Game Geek (not the first patent to do so).

Method and apparatus for card game - A card game, with cards depicting actual wrestlers and statistics.

But, as is usual, a general claim is made for all card games, for example science fiction, using similar rules:

Modified playing cards and method of use - Replace certain cards in a standard deck of playing cards with slightly different cards, without changing their value. For instance, replace the ten through ace with cards depicting V-E-G-A-S.

The theory is that this creates oppotunities for new games. For instance, if you replace only the 10 through ace of spades (and not the other suits), you can make a hand with V-E-G-A-S more valuable than a royal straight flush in some other suit. Why you can't simply do this with a standard deck of playing cards is beyond me.

This is essentially a design patent, with some commentary.

Lemonade stand playing card game and method - Then there are those patents that don't bother trying to describe the "problem", and simply write:
While known devices fulfill their respective, particular objectives and requirements, the aforementioned patents do not describe a Lemonade Stand playing card game. Therefore, it can be appreciated that there exists a continuing need for a new and improved Lemonade Stand playing card game.

Blackjack'n baccarat with jokers (B and BJ) - Add jokers to the deck and a few new betting rules.

Game played by a golf foursome during a round of golf - Two dice to be used by two couples playing golf. The first indicates who plays with whom (e.g. "Big feet vs small feet") and the second a particular golf challenge game, each of which is described in the patent.

Easy 9.TM. card game - A betting game. The abstract:
Players place bets. A 36 card deck with the tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings removed from a standard 52 card deck is dealt into eight piles of four cards each in front of a house dealer. A player/dealer chooses an action pile from the eight. A roll of three dice establishes who receives the action pile. The last four cards and any cards at vacant player positions are discarded. Players each create a front hand of two cards and a back hand of two cards of higher value than the pair of cards in the front hand. The player/dealer turns over his/her cards to the face side for both front and back hands. Each player in turn, beginning with the action hand, compares front and back hands with those of the player/dealer. Betting chips are paid or taken by the dealer/player depending on the comparative value of the player hands to the dealer hands.
Method for playing a game - Dice. One die is bigger than the others. Roll al the dice, and score for how many of the smaller ones match the big one. Essentially Bunco with funny dice.
There also exists several games for a player to play in private, either alone or with other players. These games however, are often exceedingly simple and do not offer the player a significant level of risk or excitement. Therefore these games are unable to consistently offer the player a desired level of entertainment.
Card game playing surface - A design patent for this card table:

1 comment:

Chris said...

"Right. To sum up, let's get the amateurs out of Texas Hold 'Em by using a new deck of cards."

This is brilliantly hilarious! :)

It touches upon a very interesting topic, though, which is: the skills professional poker players need to play against each other actually leave them a little vulnerable to amateur players with no clue what their doing. You need different skills to take down a poker-literate player than you do to take down a poker-ignoramus.

In practice, this vulnerability is marginal - the pros regular clean out the amateurs in the side games if for no other reason than amateurs don't know how to play any way but loose - but it does mean the poker professionals I know won't play the game with their friends because it would mean playing in a wholly different style, one utterly incompatible with how they would normally play.

Best wishes!