Title:
Multiple dice rolling game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of playing a multiple dice rolling game includes the steps of: providing a set of dice each having a predetermined number of sides and a predetermined number of different indica marked on the sides respectively; rolling the dice by a player wherein the indicia on the side which is facing up of each of the dice stands as a playing mark of the respective die; selecting and setting aside at least one of the rolled dice as a playing die while the playing mark of the playing die is to be used to form a playing hand; rolling the remaining dice by the player and selecting at least another one of the dice to set aside; repeatedly rolling the remaining dice until all of the dice are selected and set aside; and forming a complete hand with all of the playing dice.



Inventors:
Sloper, Tom (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/118387
Publication Date:
04/03/2003
Filing Date:
04/05/2002
Assignee:
SLOPER TOM
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/04; (IPC1-7): A63F9/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080167818FEATURED WANDS FOR CAMERA CALIBRATION AND AS A GESTURE BASED 3D INTERFACE DEVICEJuly, 2008Kimber et al.
20070273096Card Game SystemNovember, 2007Inubushi et al.
20050012271Bingo arm - a holding device used to hold tickets and/or money in the air to keep the player's arm from getting tired while playing the game of bingoJanuary, 2005Hodge et al.
20090194942THERMAL TARGET SYSTEMAugust, 2009Hodge
20090014960LIGHTED ROPING DUMMYJanuary, 2009Brackens
20070138745Educational card game and related methods of use thereforJune, 2007Duncan
20060181025Method of bonus odds gamingAugust, 2006Mitchell
20020111203Sound-emitting jigsaw puzzleAugust, 2002Chi
20100084816TRAVEL GAMEApril, 2010Klockenga
20020089122Sheath for keeping golf club grips dry and method of useJuly, 2002Cable et al.
20080122176Spot bet for craps gameMay, 2008Dickerson



Primary Examiner:
COLLINS, DOLORES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond, Chan Y. (Suite 128, Monterey Park, CA, 91754, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method of playing a multiple dice rolling game, comprising the steps of: (a) providing a set of dice each having a predetermined number of sides and a predetermined number of different indica marked on said sides respectively; (b) rolling said dice by a player wherein said indicia on said side which is facing up of each of said dice stands as a playing mark of said respective die; (c) selecting and setting aside at least one of said rolled dice as a playing die while said playing mark of said playing die is to be used to form a playing hand and said other non-selected dice are used as game dice; (d) rolling said remaining dice by said player, when there is one or more remaining dice, and selecting at least another die of said remaining dice to set aside, wherein said indicium on said side which is facing up of said another die stands as said playing mark of said another die; (e) repeating step (d) until all of said dice are selected and set aside; and (f) forming a complete set of dice with all of said playing dice, wherein said playing marks of said playing dice form said playing hand.

2. The method, as recited in claim 1, wherein said playing hand further comprises a qualifying hand of at least two sets of predetermined qualifying groups of said playing marks of said playing hand.

3. The method, as recited in claim 2, further comprising a step of determining a winner of said game while at least two players play in said game, wherein the first player who forms said qualifying hands that match all of said qualifying hands predefined in a checklist respectively wins said game.

4. The method, as recited in claim 2, further comprising a step of determining a winner of said game while at least two players play in said game, wherein each type of said qualifying hands has a predetermined point value in such a manner that the first player who achieves a predefined total point level by adding up all said points of said qualifying hands wins said game.

5. The method, as recited in claim 2, further comprising a step of determining a winner of said game while at least two players play in said game, wherein all players must form said qualifying hands that match all of said qualifying hands predefined in a checklist respectively, and earn a set of predetermined points with respect to each said qualifying hand, in such a manner that said player who achieves the highest points wins said game

6. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein in step (e), said player must roll said dice within a number of rounds to form said playing hand, wherein said number of rounds is equal to the number of dice used in said game.

7. The method as recited in claim 2 wherein in step (e), said player must roll said dice within a number of rounds to form said playing hand, wherein said number of rounds is equal to the number of dice used in said game.

8. The method as recited in claim 1 wherein in step (e), said player must roll said dice within a number of rounds, wherein said number of round is reached when each player is unable to form said qualifying hand.

9. The method as recited in claim 4 wherein in step (e), said player must roll said dice within a number of rounds to form said playing hand, wherein said number of rounds is equal to the number of dice used in said game.

10. The method, as recited in claim 2, wherein said arrangement of said representative marks of said qualifying hand is adapted to be selectively re-arranged that results in a valid qualifying hand in order to achieve a higher point.

11. The method, as recited in claim 9, wherein said arrangement of said representative marks of said qualifying hand is adapted to be selectively re-arranged that results in a valid qualifying hand in order to achieve a higher point.

12. The method, as recited in claim 2, wherein one of said qualifying groups comprises at least two said dice with two of the same kind of mahjongg symbols.

13. The method, as recited in claim 2, wherein one of said qualifying groups comprises at least three said dice with three of the same kind of mah-jongg symbols.

14. The method, as recited in claim 2, wherein one of said qualifying groups comprises at least three said dice with three mah-jongg symbols in sequence.

15. The method, as recited in claim 2, wherein one of said playing hands comprises at least four said dice with four of the same kind of mah-jongg symbols.

16. A set of multiple rolling game dice, comprising: at least five cubical dice each having a predetermined number of sides and a predetermined number of different mah-jongg indicium marked on each of said sides respectively, wherein said mah-jongg symbols are represented as “One Dot”, “Two Dot”, “Three Dot”, “Green Dragon”, “Red Dragon”, “Zero” (“White Dragon”), “East Wind”, “South Wind”, “West Wind”, “North Wind”, “Flower” and “Joker”; wherein by rolling said dice, said mah-jongg indicium on a facing up side of each of said die is to be used to form a playing hand, such that by selecting and arranging said mah-jongg indicia to form at least two qualifying groups to form a qualifying hand of all of said dice.

17. The set of multiple rolling game dice, as recited in claim 13, wherein one of said qualifying groups comprises at least two said dice with two of the same kind of mah-jongg symbols.

18. The set of multiple rolling game dice, as recited in claim 13, wherein one of said qualifying groups comprises at least three said dice with three of the same kind of mah-jongg symbols.

19. The set of multiple rolling game dice, as recited in claim 13, wherein one of said qualifying groups comprises at least three said dice with three mah-jongg symbols in sequence.

20. The set of multiple rolling game dice, as recited in claim 13, wherein one of said playing hands comprises at least four said dice with four of the same kind of mah-jongg symbols.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE OF RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part application of a non-provisional application, application Ser. No. 09/809,387, filed Mar. 15, 2001.

BACKGROUND OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a dice game, and more particularly to a method of playing a multiple dice rolling game, wherein a plurality of dice are thrown to be interpreted as a hand of mah-jongg.

[0004] 2. Description of Related Arts

[0005] Many mahjongg authorities use Chinese and Japanese terms to refer to the names of the mah-jongg symbols and to the game itself. The name MAH-JONGG (with the hyphen and double “G”) was trademarked by Joseph Park Babcock in 1920 but has apparently been abandoned. A search for the trademark via the U.S. Electronic Search System website (http://www.uspto.gov/) does not bring up Babcock's trademark. This and other spellings (with or without the hyphen or double “G”) are now in common usage.

[0006] The following description refers to mahjongg symbols called “East Wind”, “South Wind”, “West Wind”, “North Wind”, “Green Dragon”, “Red Dragon”, “Zero” (“White Dragon”), “Flower”, “Joker” “One Dot”, “Two Dot”, and “Three Dot”.

[0007] These symbols are represented respectively by the symbols “F”, “S”, “W”, “N”, “G”, “R”, “O”, “F”, ““J”, “1d” or simply “1”, “2d” or simply “2”, and “3d” or simply “3”.

[0008] Mah-jongg uses numerous other symbols which are not seen on the main or preferred embodiment. The full mah-jongg set includes three suits, which number from one to nine. In addition to the suit “Dots”, the full mah-jongg set also includes the suits of “Bams” and “Craks”.

[0009] In mah-jongg, poker, and other playing card games, certain cards with special indicia are called wild cards or “jokers”. Game players may by mutual agreement use such cards to represent any other card in the playing deck at the holder's option. At one time, players of American mah-jongg used Flowers as wild tiles. Today, American players (and some Asian players) use both jokers and flowers. In a typical mah-jongg set, there are at least four or as many sixteen non-identical flowers. Today's American mah-jongg rules allow flowers to be used in the hand to form groups. Japanese players do not use flowers when playing mahjongg at all. In other forms of mah-jongg, flowers are bonus tiles not used in the complete hand. The look of flowers differ greatly from one set to another, as do Jokers and dragons.

[0010] In Asia, the tiles that Westerners call “Green, Red, and White Dragons” are referred to as “Fortune, Center, and White”. The name “dragon” is one that was given to this group of tiles by Babcock, an American, and the name has stuck in the West.

[0011] Players of the American variant of mah-jongg have a special use of the White Dragon; it can be used as a “zero” in numerical combinations on the American mah-jongg hands card. American players also call this tile “soap” because of its resemblance to a bar of soap. In Japan, white dragons are left blank; in most countries, a rectangular design marks this tile. Dragons and Winds are collectively referred to as “Honors”.

[0012] The goal of the game of mah-jongg (in all forms of the game) is to form a complete hand. There are about twenty varieties of mah-jongg in existing today. The definition of a complete hand can be varied. Most forms of mahjongg (except the Taiwanese and Filipino varieties) define a complete hand as being fourteen tiles (the complete Taiwanese and Filipino hands consist instead of seventeen tiles). Additionally, most forms of mah-jongg (except the American, Taiwanese, and Filipino varieties) define the usual complete hand as “four groups and a pair” (the American hand is instead defined by a card issued yearly by a governing body).

[0013] A “qualifying group” as mentioned above may be one of two main types: “chows” (sequences of three, such as “1-2-3”) or “pungs” (three identical tiles, such as “1-1-1”). Chows are universal to all forms of mah-jongg except the modem American game.

[0014] In most forms of mah-jongg, in addition to the usual “four groups and a pair” hand structure, there are also other hand structures possible: “Seven Pairs” and “Thirteen Unique” are two examples of classic hand patterns that do not adhere to the usual “four groups and a pair” format. Western-style mah-jongg permits other special combinations, or qualifying groups, in the hand such as “NEWS” (one of each wind) and “Knitting” (in which identical numbers of different suits may be combined to form pungs). There is also a special qualifying group sometimes used, called a “kong” (four identical tiles).

[0015] Mah-jongg sets sometimes include a single cubical die marked with wind symbols on four sides (and usually a red and green dragon on the remaining two sides). This cubical die has two usages in non-American forms of mah-jongg: (1) to be thrown by the players to determine seat positions; (2) to be turned with one wind face-up so as to indicate the “prevailing wind” currently applicable in the game. Thus a common name for this cubical piece is “the wind indicator.” In American mah-jongg, this wind indicator is used to indicate which of the four players that a fifth player (“bettor”) thinks will win. Thus this piece is often called the “bettor” by players of American mah-jongg. Wind indicators (or bettors) come in a variety of forms; this cubical die is only one possible form (not all mah-jongg sets include a cubical wind indicator; most include different kinds of wind indicators).

[0016] While it is conceivable to obtain or fashion a number of cubical wind indicators and use them to play a poker-like game, such a game would be very limited. For example, using five identically-marked dice of this type to play “mah-jongg poker” would offer even fewer wining combinations than could be attained by using five normal dice (marked one though six on each of the sides), since the winds and dragons have no numerical values (thus straights are not possible with wind indicators). Also, actual mah-jongg sets never contain more than four each of any particular tile, thus a game played with five or more cubical wind indicators would violate a basic rule of most variant forms of mah-jongg.

[0017] Additionally, dice game have long been used to simulate the play of poker. Players commonly use several ordinary cubical dice, each marked with one to six points, to throw representations of poker hands. Ordinary dice are visually uninteresting, so dice with side markings resembling playing cards (“poker dice”), have also been employed. Poker dice may be cubical (six-sided) or they may have more than six sides.

[0018] For example, U.S. Pat. No. 614,524 to Yardley (1898) disclosed five decahedral (10-sided) dice bearing full likenesses of playing cards. U.S. Pat. No. 645,112 to Mapes (1900) disclosed five dodecahedral (12-sided) dice, each side of which shows both numerical and suit attribute markings. U.S. Pat. No. 809,293 issued to Friedenthal (1906) disclosed five decahedral dice with suit and numerical attribute markings. U.S. Pat. No. 1,419,056 to Kaufman (1922) disclosed a die in the shape of a fourteen-sided polyhedron, marked only with numerical attributes and lacking suit attribute markings. U.S. Pat. No. 3,608,905 to Edison (1971) disclosed five dodecahedral dice marked with suit and numerical attributes and claims straight flushes. U.S. Pat. No. 4,436,306 to Sanders (1984) discloses markings for eight numerical attributes combined with five suit attributes distributed over the sides of five octahedral dice. U.S. Pat. No. 4,989,875 to Capy (1991) discloses octahedral (8-sided) dice marked with suit and numerical attributes in a manner to allow throwing straight flushes.

[0019] Although clever in concept, dice with eight, ten, twelve, or fourteen sides bearing playing cards indicia have historically never achieved the popularity of classic six-sided (cubical) dice. Perhaps it is the unaccustomed appearance of the higher order polyhedral, or the feel of such unfamiliar shapes in a player's hand, or perhaps it is the rolling characteristics (resulting in a perception of insufficient randomness).

[0020] Another disadvantage of dice with more than six sides is that they produce proportionately fewer exciting hands and are therefore less entertaining, as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,125,660 issued to Stahl (1992), which disclosed five non-identical six-sided dice with suit and numerical attribute markings. Whatever the reason, the vast majority of people over the decades seem to clearly prefer cubical dice. In the end, though, playing cards are everyday objects that are inherently less exotic and intriguing than mah-jongg tiles, and the five dice (whether five ordinary dice or five “poker dice”) used to play the game of “poker dice” do not offer very many permutations.

SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0021] A main object of the present invention is to provide a method of playing a multiple dice rolling game, which is an entertaining new way to mah-jongg.

[0022] Another object of the present invention is to provide a set of multiple dice rolling game, which comprises a plurality of dice each having six sides marking with not only winds and dragons but also other mah-jongg symbols to provide a rich variety of kinds of mah-jongg hands.

[0023] Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of playing a multiple dice rolling game, wherein each die is marked differently from any other in the set, thus yielding a large number of possible combinations when thrown.

[0024] Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of playing a multiple dice rolling game for distributing the markings in such a manner that the set of dice is capable of yielding every set of four die sides marked with the same mah-jongg symbol, that is four of a kind, when the dice are thrown.

[0025] Another object of the present invention is to provide a set of non-identical dice, wherein each cubical die is an elegantly simple, familiar, popular and economically manufactured shape.

[0026] Another object of the present invention is to provide a method of playing a multiple dice rolling game for accomplishing the above with eight dice (eight being a nice compromise between five which are perhaps too few for proper mah-jongg, and fourteen or seventeen which are more usual for mah-jongg but are too many dice to hold in the hand at one time).

[0027] Still further objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.

[0028] Accordingly, in order to accomplish the above objects, the present invention provides a method of playing a multiple dice rolling game, which comprises the steps of:

[0029] (a) providing a set of dice each having a predetermined number of sides and a predetermined number of different indica marked on said sides respectively;

[0030] (b) rolling said dice by a player wherein said indicia on said side which is facing up of each of said dice stands as a playing mark of said respective die;

[0031] (c) selecting and setting aside at least one of said rolled dice as a playing die while said playing mark of said playing die is to be used to form a playing hand and said other non-selected dice are used as game dice;

[0032] (d) rolling said remaining dice by said player, when there is one or more remaining dice, and selecting at least another die of said remaining dice to set aside, wherein said indicium on said side which is facing up of said another die stands as said playing mark of said another die;

[0033] (e) repeating step (d) until all of said dice are selected and set aside; and

[0034] (f) forming a complete set of dice with all of said playing dice, wherein said playing marks of said playing dice form said playing hand.

[0035] The present invention further provides a set non-identical dice which comprises at least eight cubical dice each having six sides and six different mah-jongg symbols marked thereon respectively, wherein the mah-jongg symbols are represented as “One Dot”, “Two Dot”, “Three Dot”, “Green Dragon”, “Red Dragon”, “Zero” (“White Dragon”), “East Wind”, “South Wind”, “West Wind”, “North Wind”, “Flower”, and “Joker”;

[0036] By rolling the dice, a representive indicium is defined on a top side of each die in such a manner that by selecting and setting the representing indicia of the dice aside, a qualifying hand is formed by grouping at least a predetermined sequence of the representing indicia of the dice.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0037] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of eight dice to play a multiple dice rolling game with mah-jongg markings according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0038] FIG. 2 illustrates mah-jongg symbols marked on the dice to play the multiple dice rolling game according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0039] FIGS. 3A to 3H illustrate the distributions of mahjongg markings on the eight dice respectively according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0040] FIGS. 4A to 4G illustrate winning sequences by using jokers of the multiple dice rolling game with mah-jongg markings according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0041] FIGS. 5A to 5G illustrate winning sequences without using jokers of multiple dice rolling game with mah-jongg markings according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0042] FIG. 6 is a flow chart of playing the multiple dice rolling game with mah-jongg markings according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0043] Referring to FIG. 7, a method of playing the multiple dice rolling game according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. The multiple dice rolling game for entertainment can be operated by one person or can be operated between a group of players having at least two players. The method of the multiple dice rolling game is basically an alternative of way to play mah-jongg using at least five dice.

[0044] The method of playing the multiple dice rolling game comprises the steps of:

[0045] (a) providing a set of dice each having a predetermined number of sides and a predetermined number of different indica marked on said sides respectively;

[0046] (b) rolling said dice by a player wherein said indicia on said side which is facing up of each of said dice stands as a playing mark of said respective die;

[0047] (c) selecting and setting aside at least one of said rolled dice as a playing die while said playing mark of said playing die is to be used to form a playing hand and said other non-selected dice are used as game dice;

[0048] (d) rolling said remaining dice by said player, when there is one or more remaining dice, and selecting at least another die of said remaining dice to set aside, wherein said indicium on said side which is facing up of said another die stands as said playing mark of said another die;

[0049] (e) repeating step (d) until all of said dice are selected and set aside; and

[0050] (f) forming a complete set of dice with all of said playing dice, wherein said playing marks of said playing dice form said playing hand.

[0051] In step (a), each die has a predetermined number of sides and the indicia are marked thereon respectively. It is preferred that the indicia are represented as mah-jongg symbols. However, other symbols may be substituted, such as poker symbols.

[0052] According to the preferred embodiment, each die 1-8, has the mah-jongg symbol provided on each side wherein the mah-jongg symbols provided on the dice are represented as “One Dot” 87, “Two Dot” 88, “Three Dot” 89, “Green Dragon” 90, “Red Dragon” 91, “Zero” (“White Dragon”) 92, “East Wind” 93, “South Wind” 94, “West Wind” 95, and “North Wind” 96 respectively, as shown in FIG. 2.

[0053] In step (b), to begin the game, the player, or each player (for multiple player games) rolls the dice in sequence, wherein the first time, each player must roll all the dice one by one or all at the same time. The respective player carefully checks the display indicia of the dice in order to determine the winning sequence. In one alternative of the game, when the player rolls the dice the first time, if a winning sequence is displayed, the respective player automatically wins the game.

[0054] It is worth mentioning that each player should use the same number of dice to play the game. Multiple players are able to share the eight dice to play the game while each player should mark down the score after each time the respective player rolls the dice. Alternatively each player may carry his or her own eight dice.

[0055] In step (d), after rolling the dice while the display indicia do not form the winning sequence, the respective player is able to select one or more dice aside with the corresponding display indicia to potentially form the winning sequence.

[0056] Accordingly, for mah-jongg symbols, the group of the display indicia represents as sequences of three, such as 1-2-3, which is called “chows,” three identical tiles, such as 1-1-1, which is called “pungs”, four identical tiles, such as 1-1-1-1, which is called “kong”, two identical tile, such as 1-1, which is called “pair”, one of each wind, such as East-South-West-North, which is called “NEWS”, and one of each dragon called GR0.

[0057] For example, eight dice are rolled to provide the display indicia which are “One Dot”, “Red Dragon”, “North Wind”, “Two Dot”, Red Dragon”, “White Dragon”. “Three Dot”, and “Red Dragon” respectively. The player is able to select the three dice with “Red Dragon” to form a group of “pungs” and other three dice with “One Dot”, “Two Dot”, and “Three Dot” respectively to form a group of “chows”. Therefore, six dice may be selected and set aside and the remaining two dice are left to re-roll in step (4).

[0058] In other words, in step (d), the respective player must roll the two remaining dice to form a group of “pair” so as to form the winning sequence of “pung-chow-pair” to win the game. It is worth mentioning that the player is able to optionally keep one of the two remaining dice in step (d) so that the last dice must be rolled to form the “pair” so as to form a qualifying hand of winning sequence.

[0059] For enhancing the entertainment of the game, the indicia further contain a “Flower” mark 97 and a “Joker” mark 98. The Joker 98 acts as a “wild card” to selectively represent the “One Dot” 87, “Two Dot” 88, “Three Dof” 89, “Green Dragon” 90, “Red Dragon” 91, “Zero” (“White Dragon”) 92, “East Wind” 93, “South Wind” 94, “West Wind” 95, or “North Wind” 96 in such a manner that when the Joker 98 shows on the display indicia, the player is able to select the Joker with other corresponding dice to form any groups of “pungs”, “kong”, “pair”, “NEWS”, or “GR0”.

[0060] There are several ways that “Flower” 97 is adapted to be used at the discretion of the players. For example, when the Flower 97 is shown up on the top side of a die, the respective player must roll the die again. In other words, the Flower 97 is not in the hand to form a winning sequence. In a first alternative, the Flower 97 is adapted to be used in the hand to form the pairs, pungs, or kongs. In a second alternative, the Flower 97 acts as a wild card like the Joker 98, to represent any of the other display indicia.

[0061] In order to end a round of the game, a player has rolled the dice and formed a qualifying hand of the winning sequence, or has rolled the dice for the maximum predetermined times and is unable to form a complete hand.

[0062] The method of playing the multiple dice rolling game of the present invention further comprises the step of:

[0063] (f) Determining the winner of the game.

[0064] In step (f), the player or players are able to predefine a method for winning the game. In the preferred method of the multiple die rolling game the player to calculates the score for each round of game by adding up the score of each round, such that a game winner has the highest total score.

[0065] The present invention further provides a suggestion of a winning method by which a checklist of possible combinations of the indicia groups, “pung,” “chow,” “kong,” “pair,” “NEWS,” and “GR0” must be achieved by completing several rounds of the multiple die rolling game in order to be a game winner.

[0066] The present invention further provides a suggestion of a scoring method that contains a two part scoring system. Firstly, checking the groups of the winning sequence to determine the points for the first part by adding up the points as follows:

[0067] Pair=1 point

[0068] Chow=2 points

[0069] GR0=2 points

[0070] NEWS=3 points

[0071] Pung=3 points

[0072] Kong=4 points

[0073] Then, triple and/or double the points in the first part according to other characteristics of the hand as follows:

[0074] Win on the 1st roll=Triple

[0075] Win on the 2nd roll=Double

[0076] All Winds=Double

[0077] All Dragons=Double

[0078] All Numbers=Double

[0079] No Joker=Double

[0080] Eight Unique=Double

[0081] It is worth mentioning that the score achieved in the second part of the scoring method is to triple the points in the first part before doubling them. For example, the winning player has a winning sequence of “NEWS-NEWS” with one Joker at the first roll of the dice. The points for the first part are determined as 3+3=6. Then, the points will be tripled for the winning hand on the 1st roll, which is 18 points. Last, doubling the points for the “all winds” attribute. Therefore, the score for the player is 36. However, the players are free to play with the scoring and make adjustments to the rules so long as players agree on the adjustments.

[0082] After all the dice are rolled, the player may decide the order of the indicia of the dice in any way the player desires that results in a qualifying hand of playing marks in order to achieve a higher score for the round of the game. For example, a player has selected six dice with the display indicia of two “One Dot”, two “Two Dot” and two “Three Dot” so as to form two groups of “chow-chow” in step (c). Then, the player is able to roll the rest of the two dice to form a “pair” so as to form the qualifying hand of winning sequence of “chow-chow-pair”. Or, when the two dice are rolled to provide the “One Dot” and “Two Dot” of the display indicia respectively, the player is able to arrange the winning sequence of “pung-pung-pair” constructed by three “One Dot”, three “Two Dot” and two “Three Dot”. Since the score of the winning sequence of “pung-pung-pair” is higher than the score of the winning sequence of “chow-chow-pair”, the player may smartly select the combination of the display indicia to form the winning sequence with the highest score possible.

[0083] According to the preferred embodiment, there are eight dice 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 to form the game set of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1, each die 1-8 has six faces 11-16, 21-26, 31-36, 41-46, 51-56, 61-66, 71-76, and 81-86. Each die 1-8 has a mah-jongg symbol provided on each face wherein the mah-jongg markings are represented as “One Dot” 87, “Two Dot” 88, “Three Dot” 89, “Green Dragon” 90, “Red Dragon” 91, “Zero” (“White Dragon”) 92, “East Wind” 93, “South Wind” 94, “West Wind” 95, “North Wind” 96, “Flower” 97, and “Joker” 98 respectively, as shown in FIG. 2.

[0084] The following description may represent the “One Dot” 87 as “1”, “Two Dot” 88 as “2”, “Three Dot” 89 as “3”, “Green Dragon” 90 as “G”, “Red Dragon” 91 as “R”, “Zero” (“White Dragon”) 92 as “0”, “East Wind” 93 as “E”, “South Wind” 94 as “S”, “West Wind” 95 as “W”, “North Wind” 96 as “N”, “Flower” 97 as “F”, and “Joker” 98 as “J”.

[0085] It is worth mentioning that the “One Dof” 87, “Two Dof” 88, “Three Dot” 89 are from only one of the three suits in the full mah-jongg set. Any one of the three suits could be used on the dice. The suit of “Dots” is preferred due to its universality and accessibility, especially in regards to dice and dominoes. Clearly, the present invention applies equally well to any other marking and coloring convention used to distinguish mah-jongg tiles.

[0086] The preferred embodiment of the eight dice 1-8 is intended to be “universal”. Elements of several forms (variants) of mah-jongg are referenced and embodied in the markings, and are enabled in the arrangement of markings on the dice 1-8. Thus, in the preferred embodiment, there are Roman letters on the Wind tiles, 93-96, in order to aid any Western players of the mah-jongg dice.

[0087] The following describes the essence of the mah-jongg dice: how each of the mah-jongg symbols are arranged four times each on the eight cubical dice 1-8, a total of forty-eight sides, so that representations of every important mahjongg hand (of several different forms of mah-jongg) can be thrown.

[0088] In the preferred embodiment, eight dice 1-8 are marked with mah-jongg symbols as shown in FIG. 1. The size of the dice is relatively unimportant, but it is preferred that the dice be no smaller than 16 mm on a side and no larger than 19 mm on a side. (Smaller than 16 mm, the symbols would be harder to read and would look less attractive. Larger than 19 mm, the dice would not fit well in the hand.) The mah-jongg symbols are identified and referenced in FIG. 2.

[0089] According to the preferred embodiment, not only winds and dragons but also the first three numbers of the suit of Dots, as well as flowers and jokers, are used on the sides of the dice. Each die is marked differently from every other die in the set. Each symbol is used four times, never more than once on a single die. Insofar as is possible, the types of symbols (for example, the dragons) should be distributed evenly across the eight dice 1-8. In the case of the wind symbols, there are exactly sixteen (a multiple of eight); so there are two wind symbols per die in the preferred embodiment.

[0090] The symbols are arranged on eight six-sided dice according to the criteria specified in the preceding description, as shown in FIG. 3 and in the following table 1. 1

TABLE 1
Die 1Die 2Die 3Die 4Die 5Die 6Die 7Die 8
Side 11230GR2G
Side 2SSWWSEES
Side 3WNNENWNE
Side 4000233G2
Side 5RRG311R1
Side 6FJJFFJFJ

[0091] This manner of distributing mah-jongg markings across the dice is unique. It is designed specifically to enable the user to throw up to four of any one kind with the dice. The distribution of numbers, winds, and dragons further ensures that it is possible to throw “Pure” (all numbers), “All Winds”, or “All Dragons”.

[0092] There are many ways in which the forty-eight sides can be marked according to these rules. The present invention covers this and the other possible distribution of markings that meet the above criteria.

[0093] For reference purposes, each side can be identified with a two-digit number. For example, “11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16” would referred to “die 1, side 1 through 6” (1, S, W, 0, R, and F respectively). The six sides of die 2 may be identified as 21-26; the die 3 as 31-36; and so on, as shown in following table 2. 2

TABLE 2
Die 1Die 2Die 3Die 4Die 5Die 6Die 7Die 8
Side 11121314151617181
Side 21222324252627282
Side 31323334353637383
Side 41424344454647484
Side 51525354555657585
Side 61626364656667686

[0094] On every die, the mah-jongg symbols may be arbitrarily distributed among the six sides of the die and may also be arbitrarily oriented. It does not affect game play which symbol is right-side-up in relation to another on a die. However, it is player-friendly to orient the symbols in a consistent manner on the dice of the set, facilitating strategic analysis by the player. For example, the side 1 symbol could be placed on the bottom, and the remaining symbols could be placed in order around the remaining sides. The invention applies regardless of alternate arrangements and orientations of symbols on a die.

[0095] FIG. 1 depicts the eight dice 1-8 showing a random throw of the dice (as might occur in the course of a game played with the dice). In FIG. 1, sides 12, 26, 31, 45, 52, 64, 72, and 83 combine to make a complete qualifying mah-jongg hand. 3

Die #12345678
SymbolSJ33S3EE
Side #1226314552647283

[0096] In this example, the hand may be interpreted as either “Two Pungs and a Pair”, as “A Kong and two Pairs”, or as “Four Pairs”, depending on how the joker is used, as shown below. 4

The joker represents the East Wind:EJE 333 SS - two pungs and a pair
The joker represents the South Wind:SJS 333 EE - two pungs and a pair
The joker represents the Three Dot:J333 SS EE - a kong and two pairs
The joker represents the Three Dot:33 3J SS EE - four pairs

[0097] FIG. 4 shows examples of mah-jongg hands enabled by the eight dice 1-8 of the preferred embodiment, using jokers. For these examples, it is assumed that the flowers are used according to the modern American convention (rather than according to Asian conventions or as jokers).

[0098] The following table 3 illustrates the winning sequences by using jokers of the multiple dice rolling game with mah-jongg markings according to the above preferred embodiment of the present invention. 5

TABLE 3
Ex.Hand DescriptionBreakdown12345678Die #
4ATwo KongsRRRJ 333JRRJ333RJSymbol
1525364554647586Side #
4BTwo Pungs & a PairWWW 22J 111JWW1W22Die #
1126324255637184Symbol
4CPung, Chow, & PairNNN 123 0J1NN0N32JSide #
1123334153647186Die #
4DTwo Chows & a Pair123 1J3 FFF23311FJSymbol
1621314555657686Side #
4ENEWS and Two PairsNEWJ GG EEWJGENEGEDie #
1326354353627483Symbol
4FNEWS and a KongNEWS RRRJRJNWSRRESide #
1526334252617593Die #
4GA Kong and Two PairsJ333 GG FFFJG333FGSymbol
1626354554647681Side #

[0099] In FIG. 4A, the player has thrown three Reds (sides 15, 25, and 75), three Threes (sides 45, 54, and 64), and two Jokers (sides 6 of dice 3 and dice 8). The player has the freedom to use the jokers in any ways he or she sees fit. This example hand could be interpreted as “Two Pungs and a Pair” (a pung of reds, a pung of threes, and pair of anything) but may also be interpreted as “Two Kongs”.

[0100] In FIG. 4B, the topmost surfaces of the dice show three Wests (sides 32, 42, and 63), two Twos (sides 71 and 84), two Ones (sides 11 and 55), and a Joker (side 6 of the remaining die 2). Here the joker is used as a two.

[0101] In FIG. 4C, the dice show three Norths, a natural Chow, a Zero (White Dragon), and a joker. Under mah-jongg rules, the only hand the player can legally make with this combination is pung, chow, and pair (using the joker as a white dragon).

[0102] In FIG. 4D, the dice show two Ones, a Two, two Threes, two Flowers, and a Joker. The joker is used as a two. The player has freedom to make “four pairs” from this (a pair of ones, pair of twos, pair of threes, and pair of flowers), or to call it “two chows and a pair”.

[0103] In FIG. 4E, the dice show a North, three Easts, a West, two Greens, and a Joker. The best way to use the joker in this example is as a South, to make “NEWS and Two Pairs”. (NEWS is “one of each wind” in Western mah-jongg.)

[0104] In FIG. 4F, the dice show one of each wind, three Reds, and a Joker. The joker is used to represent a Red, making “NEWS and a Kong”.

[0105] In FIG. 4G, the dice show a joker, three Threes, two Greens, and two Flowers. The joker could be used as either a Three, a green, or a Flower. If the player needs or desires to score a Kong and Two Pairs, using the joker as a Three accomplishes the purpose.

[0106] FIG. 5 and the following table 4 show examples of mah-jongg hands enabled by the dice, without the aid of jokers. 6

TABLE 4
Ex.Hand DescriptionBreakdown12345678Die #
5ATwo Pungs & a PairGGG RRR 00R0G0GRRGSymbol
(“All Dragons”1524354151617581Side #
5BPung, Chow, & PairRRR 123 FF1R3FFRR2Die #
1125314656617584Symbol
5CTwo Chows & a Pair123 123 2212321322Side #
(“Pure”)1121314455647184Die #
6DNEWS and Two PairsNEWS 00 1100WE11NSSymbol
1424324355657382Side #
6EDouble NEWSNEWS NEWSWSNWNEESDie #
1322334253627282Symbol
6FEach Honor & a OneNEWS 0GR 1S0WEN1RGSide #
(“Eight Unique”)1224324353657581Die #
6GFour PairsEE 33 RR FFRR33FEFESymbol
1525314556627683Side #

[0107] Inspection of FIG. 5A shows a jokerless “two pungs and a pair” hand. Three Reds are made using sides 15, 61, 75; three Greens are made using sides 35, 51, 81; the pair of Whites (“Zeroes”) is made using sides 24 and 51. Since these symbols are all dragons, the player making this hand may earn extra score for “All Dragons”.

[0108] FIG. 5B shows a jokerless “pung, chow, pair” hand. Details regarding sides used to achieve this hand are given in the table 4.

[0109] FIG. 5C shows a jokerless “two chows and a pair” hand which is “pure” (being consisted of numbers only).

[0110] FIG. 5D shows a jokerless “NEWS and two pairs” hand.

[0111] FIG. 5E shows jokerless “Double NEWS” hand, which could also be interpreted as “Four Pairs, All Winds.”

[0112] FIG. 5F shows a jokerless “Eight Unique” hand (one of each wind and dragon, plus a One).

[0113] FIG. 5G shows a jokerless yet easy-to-achieve “Four Pairs” hand.

[0114] These are only a few examples of combinations that can be made with the dice.

[0115] Alternative embodiments of the multiple dice rolling game of the present invention could be made with three variables: (1) the number of dice in the set; (2) the number of sides per die; and (3) the selection and arrangement of mah-jongg indicia on the sides of the dice.

[0116] According to the number of dice in the set of the first alternative, the number of tiles in a mah-jongg set vary depending on which of twenty or so variants of mah-jongg are taken under consideration. Japanese players use a set of 136 tiles. Assuming six-sided dice, it would take 23 dice to represent all of the tiles in a Japanese set. At the other extreme is the modem Vietnamese variant of mah-jongg, which uses a set of 178 tiles. It would take 30 cubical dice to represent all the tiles in the modern Vietnamese set. All other forms of mah-jongg fall in between these extremes. Even 23 dice is too many to comfortably throw at once without aid of a bowl or bucket, so it is preferred to utilize fewer dice.

[0117] The ideal or preferred mah-jongg game as played with dice (in order to be in keeping with the most usual type of mah-jongg hand and to be compatible with some special hands from several variants of mah-jongg) would use a set of dice in which the number of dice in the set is determined by the following formula:

Number of dice=(n groups)+pair

[0118] where “n” is any whole number between 1 and 5 inclusive, “group”=3, and “pair”=2.

[0119] Therefore, the preferred set of dice comprises any of the following numbers of dice:

[0120] (n=1)3+2=5 (as in poker)

[0121] (n=2)3+3+2=8 (as in Pon-Jong)

[0122] (n=3)3+3+3+2=11

[0123] (n=4)3+3+3+3+2=14 (as in most forms of mah-jongg)

[0124] (n=5)3+3+3+3+3+2=17 (as in Taiwanese /Filipino mah-jongg)

[0125] The present invention covers sets of other numbers of dice between five and seventeen; the above formula determines only the preferred set sizes.

[0126] Given that most mah-jongg players define the usual complete, or qualifying hand as being comprised of fourteen tiles, it would seem most logical to make a dice game in which the player has fourteen dice. This has two disadvantages, however: the game play would still necessarily differ greatly from actual mah-jongg anyway (and would likely be harder to achieve a complete, or qualifying hand), and fourteen dice would be too many to hold comfortably in the hand. The latter argument assumes that the dice are large enough to enable attractive designs. It would of course be possible to use a cup for throwing the dice, but it is more satisfying to hold them in the hand.

[0127] Thus, the preferred embodiment of mah-jongg dice utilizes less dice than fourteen. Still, it is worthwhile to consider alternative embodiments using each of the five dice counts given by the formula above.

[0128] With five non-identical dice (using the precepts outlined herein, as opposed to using five identical “Wind indicators” sometimes included with mah-jongg sets), a reasonably satisfying kind of “mah-jongg poker” could be played. Five six-sided dice yield thirty sides which, divided by four, permits the use of seven unique mah-jongg indicia (with two sides left over). The winds and dragons only might be used (no suit tile symbols), and two jokers, as in the following table 5. 7

TABLE 5
Five DiceDie 1Die 2Die 3Die 4Die 5
Side 1EEEEW
Side 2SSSSN
Side 3WWWJJ
Side 4NNNRR
Side 5GRRGG
Side 600G00

[0129] With these five dice, the player can throw a hand comprising “one group and a pair” or possibly (in the case of the winds) “five of a kind”. The result with five non-identical dice has a better entertainment value than could be obtained by using five identical “wind indicator” dice as mentioned previously.

[0130] With eight dice of the preferred embodiment, the player can throw hands comprising “two groups and a pair”, “two kongs”, or “four pairs”. This provides more flexibility and is more satisfying for the mah-jongg player than the “one group and a pair” attainable with five dice. Additionally, there is precedent for playing “mini-mah-jongg” with a hand of only eight tiles, as can be seen in Takamitsu Shimizu's online game “Pon-Jong” (playable online at http:/iwww.rinc.or.jp/˜tshimizu/mahiong/mahjong.html). Thus, eight dice (and a hand of “two groups and a pair” and the other possibilities afforded by eight dice) is the preferred embodiment.

[0131] The following illustrates an alternative arrangement of mah-jongg symbols on eight dice, omitting the flower and joker markings (substituting different markings) such that the game will more nearly resemble non-American forms of mah-jongg. Eight six-sided dice yield forty-eight sides which, divided by four, permits the use of twelve different mah-jongg symbols. One desirable way of arriving at twelve different symbols is by using One through Nine of one suit, plus the three different Dragons, as shown in table 6. 8

TABLE 6
8 DiceDie 1Die 2Die 3Die 4Die 5Die 6Die 7Die 8
Side 19361241R
Side 21472353G
Side 3258RG040
Side 4369G0R62
Side 547157875
Side 6RG068998

[0132] This alternative arrangement has two advantages and two disadvantages when compared with the preferred embodiment. One advantage is that Asian player need not learn unfamiliar rules for the use of flowers and jokers. Another is that a greater number of chows (sequential runs) are enabled by this arrangement. One disadvantage, however, is that there are no Winds (thus eliminating some popular symbols and hands). Another disadvantage is that the lack of wild tiles is likely to result in numerous non-winning plays, reducing the entertainment value of the dice. Thus this arrangement is not the preferred embodiment.

[0133] While using eleven dice, “three groups and a pair” would be closer to actual mah-jongg than “two groups and a pair”. This hand structure is enabled by the use of eleven dice rather than eight. The following is an example of how mah-jongg symbols in table 7 could be arranged on eleven dice. Eleven six-sided dice yield sixty-six sides which, divided by four, permits the use of sixteen unique mah-jongg indicia (with two sides left over). 9

TABLE 7
11 DiceDie 1Die 2Die 3Die 4Die 5Die 6Die 7Die 8Die 9Die 10Die 11
Side 112111222333
Side 234444555666
Side 356777888999
Side 478GR0GR0GR0
Side 59EEESR0GSEW
Side 6F/JF/JWNWSWNNSN

[0134] The arrangement shown above utilizes all the numbers in one suit (four each of “One” through “Nine”), plus all the dragons and winds. The two remaining sides are adorned with flower or joker symbols.

[0135] This arrangement seems elegant upon first blush but one flaw is that because Die 1 has no dragons or winds, the only way to make a hand of “All Winds and Dragons” is by means of the joker. Other arrangements are possible to remedy this flaw, of course.

[0136] When fourteen dice are used, “four groups and a pair” (enabled by a set of fourteen dice) would be most similar to actual mah-jongg (of non-Taiwanese/Filipino varieties). Fourteen six-sided dice yield eighty-four sides which, divided by four, permits the use of twenty-one unique mah-jongg indicia.

[0137] The following table 8 shows one desirable arrangement of symbols possible on fourteen dice: 10

TABLE 8
14DieDieDieDieDieDieDieDieDieDieDieDieDieDie
Dice1234567891011121314
Side 11d2d3d4d5d6d7d8d9d9b8b7b6b5b
Side 24b3b2b1b1d2d3d4d5d6d7d8d9d9b
Side 38b7b6b5b4b3b2b2d3d4d5d6d7d8d
Side 49d9b8b7b6b5b4b3b2b1b1d2d3d4d
Side 55d6d7d8d9d9b8b7b6b5b4b3b2b1b
Side 61b0GR00RGR0GR01d

[0138] The requirement for twenty-one different symbols in this embodiment permits the use of all the tiles of two suits (four each of one through nine, times two) plus all the dragons.

[0139] It would also be possible to make a mah-jongg dice game -with seventeen dice. But if fourteen dice are too many for holding in the hand, seventeen is clearly too many. And only players of the Taiwanese or Filipino varieties would find it necessary to have so many dice. Thus this embodiment is not preferred.

[0140] Seventeen six-sided dice yield one hundred and two sides which, divided by four, allows the use of twenty-five unique symbols, with two sides left over.

[0141] The following table 9 illustrates the arrangement of symbols on seventeen dice. 11

TABLE 9
17 Dice1234567891011121314151617
Side 1
Side 2
Side 3
Side 4
Side 5F0GR0GR0GR0GR
Side 6EEEESSSSWWWWNNNNF

[0142] The blank (unspecified) spaces in this table could be filled with the numbered tile symbols of two suits (“Bams” and “Dots”, for example) in any manner, so long as no one number in one suit be shown on more than one side of one die. It is also desirable to keep adjacent numbers in one suit from appearing on the same die, so as to enhance the possibilities of obtaining chows (sequential runs of three). It may also be desirable to add a similar prohibition to identical numbers in different suits, depending on the combinations desired.

[0143] In addition to alternative numbers of dice in the set and alternative selections and arrangements of mah-jongg indicia on the dice in the set, another type of alternative embodiment is in the number of sides per die. Cubical (six-sided) dice are preferred as has been discussed; the present invention also covers dice having more than six sides.

[0144] In the view of the above preferred embodiment and its alternatives, the present invention can be concluded to provide the following advantages.

[0145] (1) The dice are marked with not only winds and dragons but also other mah-jongg symbols to provide a rich variety of kinds of mah-jongg hands.

[0146] (2) The set of symbols on each die are not identical with the set of symbols on any other die. Therefore, a large number of possible combinations of the dice can be achieved by throwing the dice.

[0147] (3) The symbols of the dice are distributed so that when throwing the dice, the set is capable of yielding every set of four die sides marked with the same mah-jongg symbol, that is four of a kind.

[0148] (4) The number of dice is such as to provide the traditional mah-jongg hand format of “n groups and a pair”.

[0149] Although the description above contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention but as merely providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the performance of the mahjongg dice is independent of the specific symbols or method used to indicate mah-jongg attributes.

[0150] As another example, die sides marked with flowers and jokers may bear instead numeric and suit attribute markings or arbitrary promotional material. Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.