Title:

Kind
Code:

A1

Abstract:

The present invention is directed to a mathematical game. Such method comprises (1) generating a separate set of calculating numbers for each individual player or team; (2) designating certain math operations (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) available to each player; (3) generating a target number applicable to all players; (4) players calculating the target number by combining all of their calculating numbers with any combination of some or all of the designated math operations; and (5) players announcing their calculations.

Inventors:

Harden, Joel (Philadelphia, PA, US)

Application Number:

11/787429

Publication Date:

10/16/2008

Filing Date:

04/16/2007

Export Citation:

Primary Class:

International Classes:

View Patent Images:

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Primary Examiner:

FERNSTROM, KURT

Attorney, Agent or Firm:

REED SMITH LLP (2500 ONE LIBERTY PLACE, 1650 MARKET STREET, PHILADELPHIA, PA, 19103, US)

Claims:

What is claimed is:

1. A method for playing a mathematical game by players or teams of players, comprising a first round, said first round comprising: generating a set of calculating numbers specific to each player or team; designating a set of mathematical operations to be at the disposal of each player or team; generating a target number; players or teams calculating said target number, wherein said calculation combines all of players' or teams' said calculating numbers with a combination of some or all of said designated mathematical operations; players or teams announcing said calculation of said target number.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said target and calculating numbers comprise positive integers within a pre-defined range of values.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein said set of mathematical operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said calculation combines all of players' or teams' said calculating numbers with a combination of all of said designated mathematical operations

5. The method of claim 1, wherein, if said target number is not calculated by any player or team, a new target number is generated.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising additional rounds.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein a player or team receives a pre-determined number of points for a said round for announcing a correct calculation of said target number.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein said pre-determined number of points for announcing a correct calculation is based upon the order in which players or teams announce a correct calculation of said target number.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein only the player or team that first announces a correct calculation of said target number receives said pre-determined number of points for announcing a correct calculation.

10. The method of claim 7, wherein, if a player or team announces an incorrect calculation during a said round, said player or team loses a pre-determined number of points.

11. The method of claim 7, wherein the game concludes when a player or team reaches a pre-determined number of points.

12. The method of claim 7, wherein the game concludes at the conclusion of a pre-determined number of rounds.

13. The method of claim 7, wherein the game concludes at the expiration of a predetermined amount of time.

1. A method for playing a mathematical game by players or teams of players, comprising a first round, said first round comprising: generating a set of calculating numbers specific to each player or team; designating a set of mathematical operations to be at the disposal of each player or team; generating a target number; players or teams calculating said target number, wherein said calculation combines all of players' or teams' said calculating numbers with a combination of some or all of said designated mathematical operations; players or teams announcing said calculation of said target number.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said target and calculating numbers comprise positive integers within a pre-defined range of values.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein said set of mathematical operations are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said calculation combines all of players' or teams' said calculating numbers with a combination of all of said designated mathematical operations

5. The method of claim 1, wherein, if said target number is not calculated by any player or team, a new target number is generated.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising additional rounds.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein a player or team receives a pre-determined number of points for a said round for announcing a correct calculation of said target number.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein said pre-determined number of points for announcing a correct calculation is based upon the order in which players or teams announce a correct calculation of said target number.

9. The method of claim 7, wherein only the player or team that first announces a correct calculation of said target number receives said pre-determined number of points for announcing a correct calculation.

10. The method of claim 7, wherein, if a player or team announces an incorrect calculation during a said round, said player or team loses a pre-determined number of points.

11. The method of claim 7, wherein the game concludes when a player or team reaches a pre-determined number of points.

12. The method of claim 7, wherein the game concludes at the conclusion of a pre-determined number of rounds.

13. The method of claim 7, wherein the game concludes at the expiration of a predetermined amount of time.

Description:

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed generally to games, more specifically, to mathematical games and games of skill and chance.

2. Background of the Invention

There are a wide variety of mathematical games. Some such games require the application of basic arithmetic skills. For example, in 24® Game, each player is given one or more cards. Each card has four “calculating numbers.” The first player must combine his calculating numbers with one or more mathematical operations—for example, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—to achieve the “target number” of 24. The next player must do the same with his or her own calculating numbers, and so on, in turn. Because the players take turns and do not calculate simultaneously, a player is not rewarded for being capable of calculating the target value more quickly than other players. Further, the target number never changes, but is always 24.

1-2-3 OY! is another math game. It admits of several variations. For example, in “SLAP MATCH OY!” players receive seven calculating numbers. A target number is drawn and then players try to combine two or more of their calculating numbers with addition or subtraction to equal the target number. The first player to find such a combination takes the cards used and the target number card and places them in his or her “Win Pile,” thereby crediting the player for the victory. Thus, only the first player to announce a valid combination receives credit for a given round, and subsequent announcements of valid combinations cannot be rewarded. Further, players are not required to use all of their calculating numbers in their calculation of the target value, only two or more of the numbers received. Strategy in this game centers on whether to quickly solve using a few cards, or to risk taking more time to devise more elaborate alternative solutions that use more cards but risk preemption by quicker, simpler solutions by another player.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,811,402 describes yet another math game. Like 24 Game, the players take turns. First, the target value and calculating numbers are generated. Next, the first player has an opportunity to use the calculating numbers and one or more mathematical operations to reach the generated target value. If the first player cannot calculate the exact target value, he or she must attempt to calculate a number as close as possible to the target value. The next player then has an opportunity to calculate a number even closer to the target value. If the target number is unattainable, the winner is the player finding the combination closest to the target value. Once again, however, players do not race to be the first to calculate the target number, but take turns as they attempt to refine their answers. Further, the players do not receive a personal set of calculating numbers, but each work with the same calculating numbers and target number, thus eliminating the aspect of chance.

Thus, none of these games combine the elements of speed and chance. That is, none require both the skill of quickly calculating a target value and the chance of receiving a personal set of calculating numbers that combine easily or with difficulty to reach the target value.

The present invention is directed to a mathematical game. Such method comprises (1) generating a separate set of calculating numbers for each individual player or team; (2) designating certain math operations (e.g., addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) available to each player; (3) generating a target number applicable to all players; (4) players calculating the target number by combining all of their calculating numbers with any combination of some or all of the designated math operations; and (5) players announcing their calculations.

The game may also be customized. For example, players can designate the available math operations randomly. Further, players can allow numerous math operations, including squares and square roots, or only a few operations, such as addition and subtraction. Players can further modify the game by limiting or expanding the pool of potential target and calculating numbers.

It is to be understood that the descriptions of the present invention have been simplified to illustrate characteristics of the game that are relevant for a clear understanding of the present invention. Those of ordinary skill in the art may recognize that other steps are desirable and/or required in implementing the present invention. However, because such steps are well known in the art, and because they do not facilitate a better understanding of the present invention, a discussion of such steps is not provided herein. The disclosure herein is directed to all such variations and modifications to such elements and methods known to those skilled in the art.

Generally, the present invention provides a method for playing a mathematical game. By the method, a separate set of calculating numbers is generated for each individual player or team, and certain math operations are designated for use. Next, a target number is generated. Players must then attempt to calculate the target number by combining each of their calculating numbers and any combination of some or all of the designated math operations. A player finding such a calculation must then announce his or her calculation to the other players.

In a preferred embodiment, the game is played with a deck of 25 or more cards, each with a single number between 1 and 25. The dealer deals 5-7 cards to 2-5 players. The numbers on these cards are the “calculating numbers.” The dealer then deals one card face-up in the center, which indicates the “target number.” To win, a player must be the first to use each of his or her calculating numbers once with any combination of the four basic math operations—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division—to achieve the target number.

For example, if the target number is 12 and a player is dealt the calculating numbers 6, 7, 10, 12, and 16, a valid combination would be 16-12=4; 4+10=14; 14/7=2; 2*6=12. Another valid combination would be 16−12=4; 4*7=28; 28−10=18; 18−6=12.

The combination applied to reach the target number is irrelevant. To win a round, a player must simply be the first to announce a valid combination. If a valid combination is not announced, a new target number is drawn.

The preferred embodiment demonstrates how the claimed invention combines the elements of speed and chance. Players do not answer in turn, but race to be the first to calculate a target value. At the same time, players must also rely on chance. Each player or team receives a separate set of calculating numbers. Some numbers will more easily combine to reach the target number than others. Some calculating numbers may not be combinable to achieve the target number. The ability to announce a valid calculation of a target number, therefore, depends on both the calculating speed of the player and the luck of the draw.

Note that players may add to or alter the rules of the above embodiment to customize the game. For example, players can play multiple rounds of the game. The player that first announces a correct calculation during a given round can receive a pre-determined number of points. Alternatively, all players announcing a correct calculation can be awarded points based upon the order in which their calculations are announced. Further, if a player calls out a wrong answer, the player can be penalized by losing a pre-determined number of points.

If rounds are played, further rules can be added to determine the conclusion of the game. For example, the game can conclude when a player reached a pre-determined number of points, or at the expiration of a pre-determined number of rounds, or after a period of time.

To make the game more challenging or to handicap a more experienced player, the operations available for use in a given round can be randomly selected. For example, players can separately deal out “variance cards,” cards containing only a single operation. The recipient of such cards can then be required to use each of the indicated mathematical operations within his or her calculation. For example, if a player received two variance cards indicating “+” and “−”, the player's calculation would be required to include at least one addition and at least one subtraction. Thus, in the above example where the target number was 12, the first calculation would be valid, while the second would not.

To further modify the game, players can use additional math operations, such as squares or square roots, or limit players to only a few math operations, such as addition and subtraction. Players can also limit the pool of numbers available for use as target or calculating numbers. For example, players could limit the pool to low numbers and allow for easier calculations by using an ordinary deck of playing cards, such as a straight deck or a pinochle deck.

Note further that, while one embodiment utilizes cards, target and calculating numbers can be generated by alternative means, such as dice or a spinner, or even a computer. By this latter method, people can play against each other over the internet or over an alternative network connection. One can also play the game “against the computer”—that is, against a virtual player as programmed by a software developer. Such software can offer virtual competitors of varying degrees of skill.

Note also that the preferred embodiment can be modified to accommodate team play. For example, a team of players can collaborate against a team of other players, and one player can be responsible for announcing a team's calculation. Alternatively, members of a team can take turns being responsible for calculating the target number and announcing the solution.

The preferred embodiment can also be modified to accommodate tournament play. Competitors can apply standard tournament rules, including seeding players or teams according to skill, holding multiple rounds, and applying a single- or double-elimination rule.

Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that many modifications and variations of the present invention may be implemented. The foregoing description and the following claims are intended to cover all such modifications and variations falling within the scope of the following claims, and the equivalents thereof.