United States Patent 3768813

Individual hands for a card game are predetermined and dealt to a player in a unitized form. Each hand has a base card or strip to which are attached removable tabs of a uniform number for each hand. Each tab bears individual indicia corresponding to the standard card suits and the denominations in that suit. The tabs are singularly removed and played in sequence as are normal cards. If desired, additional indicia may be used to ascertain the order of the removal of each tab from the base card.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/149P, 273/149R, 273/151, 273/294
International Classes:
A63F1/06; (IPC1-7): A63F1/10
Field of Search:
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2254545Match book1941-09-02Roberts
2025966Combination game and individual player instruction sheet therefor1935-12-31Williams

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Oechsle, Anton O.
I claim

1. A predealt card game based upon four suits, each suit having a number of denominations, for play by multiple players and having four individual and different hand units, each hand unit comprising:

2. The card game of claim 1 wherein the visible indicia are printed on tabs of each hand unit by computer-controlled equipment to produce computer preselected playing hand units, and further comprising visibly undecipherable markings on each tab at varying positions on the tab that uniquely correspond to a computer-selected preferred order of removal of the tabs from between the top and bottom layers of the binding.

3. The card game of claim 2 wherein the visibly undecipherable markings are inclusions within each tab whereby the position of the inclusions in consecutively removed tabs of each hand unit may be monitored and compared with the computer-selected preferred order of removal after the removal of all tabs from between the top and bottom layers of the binding of each hand unit.


The subject development relates to card games of the type wherein four suits might be used and more particularly to multiple predetermined hands. Specifically, preselected playing hands for the game of bridge are described.

There are many occasions when conventional decks of cards are unwieldy because of the locale where a game is to be played. For example, in automobiles, buses and airplanes the seating is seldom suitable for play by more than two persons and a playing surface is often unavailable. Even with two players there is always a problem of shuffling the cards and/or retaining cards after their play in the specific game. Card holders of various designs have been developed to reduce the problems; one such holder is that described in U. S. Pat. No. 1,781,850 to L. R. Ladd. In that patent there are boards for each player with clips to hold unplayed cards and a board to hold played (or discarded) cards. This does not solve the problems of dealing and sorting. Furthermore, in games such as duplicate bridge, specific hands must be prepared and distributed before each game is played.

It is therefore the principal object of the subject development to provide an improved card game that eliminates card shuffling and dealing, may be played not only at tables but in hospitals, automobiles, waiting rooms, buses, airplanes and other places where the playing of normal card games is particularly difficult because of physical arrangements.


FIG. 1 is a plan view illustrating my invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view, partly in cut-away, showing a second embodiment of my invention;

FIG. 3 is a plan view, also partly in cut-away, of another embodiment of my invention; and

FIG. 4 is a detailed illustration of one of the removable tabs of FIG. 2.


In my invention individual thin base units in the form of cards or strips are provided for each player. These have attached thereto removable tabs, each bearing a visible individual suit and denomination designation. Each base unit with its tabs is a predetermined playing hand differing from each other hand. The hands may be printed by computer-controlled apparatus so as to achieve a desired distribution of tabs for each player, and each tab may have other indicia (not known to the player) to subsequently ascertain the order of removal of a particular tab from its base unit. Thisorder may then be checked against the computer information to evaluate or score a player as to hisability. These features are especially useful for the game of duplicate bridge.


An understanding of my invention may be obtained by reference to FIG. 1. In this embodiment, a thin rectangular base strip 1 to be held by a player is formed from cardboard or the like with a plurality of elongated tabs 2 that extend perpendicularly to the long dimension of strip 1. Each tab is removable from strip 1 at a transverse row of perforations 3 or other similarly weakened line. The embodiment shown represents a hand for playing bridge (there also being three other hands, the background color of each being of a distinctive color to always identify the source of the tab). 13 tabs 2 are illustrated. Each tab 2 bears a suit designation 4, e.g., clubs, and a denomination designation 5, e.g., three. The front of the strip 1 may be marked with instructions for a particular player such as "S" 6 for South, "DLR-N" 7 for Dealer-North and "VUL-EW" 8 for Vulnerable-East and West. The product, when combined with the other three hands appropriately marked, is a predealt and predetermined set of hands for a round of bridge. The designation of the particular player, e.g., South, would be printed on the back of strip 1 to guide the dealing.

Play of the game is accomplished after appropriate bidding by each player, in his turn, removing any desired tab 2 by separating at line 3, displaying the indicia 4, 5 to other players and playing it in a rather conventional manner. Standard piles of tabs, as "tricks," may be made or each player may retain his own tabs after showing each in turn to the other players to determine the winner of the trick.

A second embodiment of my invention is illustrated in FIG. 2. In this embodiment, a thin rectangular base strip to be held by the player is formed from a front layer 9 and a rear layer 10 of light cardboard or the like. These layers may be preferably provided by folding a single sheet as at 11, or may be separate elements fastened to each other. Held between front layer 9 and rear layer 10 are a plurality of elongated tabs 12 that extend perpendicularly to the long dimension of layers 9 and 10. Each tab is divided into two portions 13, 14 by a transverse row of perforations 15 or other similarly weakened line. Tabs 12 may be separated one from another (as shown) or may be in slightly overlapping relationship to reduce the length of the base strip. Tab portion 13 is glued or otherwise fastened to layer 9 and/or layer 10 while tab portion 14 is attached to neither layer thus permitting removal of tab portion 14 when separation is made at perforations 15. As in FIG. 1, indicia 16 are provided to indicate suits. Denomination indicia 17 are placed near the extremity of tab portions 14 for viewing by the individual player and a second series of denomination indicia 18, preferably larger in size and oriented perpendicularly to the long dimension of the tab 12, are placed near perforations 15 for viewing by other players when displayed by the player after removal.

Another embodiment of my invention is shown in FIG. 3. In this embodiment, a circular top layer 19 attached to bottom layer 20 form the base card and tabs 21 extend radially therefrom. Each tab 21 may be either rectangular (as in FIG. 2) or generally tear-drop shape and overlapping at the detachment end, as shown, where it is separated from the base card by tearing at perforations 22. Tab extensions 23 are attached to one or both of layers 19, 20. Each tab 21 has one set of indicia showing suit 24 and denomination 25 oriented for ease of reading when the hand is held by a player. A second and duplicate set of indicia for suit 26 and denomination 27 are placed on tabs 21 for viewing by other players when displayed by the player after removal from the base card.

Although primarily constructed for a single usage, tabs 21 can be reinserted between layers 19 and 20 for additional playing. This is true, also, for the embodiment of FIG. 2. Although not shown, information as to the player, dealer, etc., may be printed on the face of layer 19 as in the embodiment of FIG. 1. The designation of the player, e.g., North, may be printed on the back of layer 20.

When duplicate bridge is played, players are given predetermined hands which they play to the best of their ability. There are skills in bidding and order of playing each card. A player is given a score related to how well he played in comparison with other players with the same hand. It is possible to prepare challenging distributions for such hands using a computer code. Accordingly, a computer code may be used to print the visibe indicia on the tabs of my invention. Many sets of hands of a desired distribution may be produced in this manner. Furthermore, by a proper marking technique, an automatic determination may be made subsequently for a computer calculation of a player's score against many more players' scores than has been feasible by manual comparison.

One manner for accomplishing this marking to be used for scoring is illustrated in FIG. 4 as typically applied to a tab 12 of FIG. 2. At one of twelve positions on tab portion 14 an invisible electrically conductive area 28 may be provided (a tab lacking an area 28 would be the thirteenth tab). These areas are produced during the printing of visible indicia 16-18 according to computer instructions. A player stacks his tabs in the order played. The stack of tabs can then be automatically checked by appropriate apparatus to determine a player's score when the order of actual play is compared with the computer's ideal play or others who played the same hand. Other methods of marking the tabs for determining order of play, which are undecipherable to the player, include punched holes, spaced magnetic markings, edge notches, etc.

For ease in the recognition of suits at some distance, colors other than the standard red (for hearts and diamonds) and black (for clubs and spades) may be used for all embodiments of my invention. For example, green may be used for clubs, bue for diamonds, red for hearts and black for spades. All of these can be easily recognized against pastel background colors which may be used for each hand. Furthermore, if desired, the markings on the tabs may be arranged so that all of each suit are grouped in descending order on each base unit.

My invention is not limited to the game of bridge but may be utilized to provide preselected hands for other card games such as Hearts and Euchre. Furthermore, any of these games embodying my invention may be packaged in an envelope, with the proper number of hands and instructions, for sale or for distribution in airplanes, waiting rooms, etc. The components may be easily disposed of after use. This may be a particular advantage in hospitals and nursing homes to reduce spread of disease.