Title:
Playing Cards
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pack of playing cards for visually impaired persons has a small narrow indicator along the outside edge of the card, and large indicators at the top and bottom of the card, that indicate the suit of the card. These indicators are colored dark for all cards in the Spade suit, colored reddish for all cards in the Heart suit, are broken patterns of dark and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and are broken patterns of reddish and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.



Inventors:
Clement, Joseph Fredrick (Pharr, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/750126
Publication Date:
11/20/2008
Filing Date:
05/17/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/303
International Classes:
A63F1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of Tim Headley (7941 Katy Fwy, Suite 506, Houston, TX, 77024-1924, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, each of the fifty-two cards further comprising: a. a front face divided into an inner zone, and first, second, third, fourth, and fifth outer zones; b. the inner zone having first and second sides, a top, and a bottom; c. the first outer zone adjacent to the first side of the inner zone; d. the second outer zone adjacent to the second side of the inner zone; e. the third outer zone adjacent to the top of the inner zone; f. the fourth outer zone adjacent to the bottom of the inner zone; g. the fifth outer zone adjacent to the first, second, third, and fourth outer zones, and separated from the inner zone by the first, second, third, and fourth outer zones; and h. the inner zone and each of the first and second outer zones having a standard playing card value indicator selected from deuce through ace, and having a standard playing card suit indicator selected from club, diamond, heart and spade.

2. The pack of claim 1, wherein at least one of the third and fourth outer zones is colored from a group consisting of black, midnight blue, or other dark color, for all cards in the Spade suit, is colored from a group consisting of red or a reddish hue, for all cards in the Heart suit, is a pattern of black and white coloring taken from a group consisting of checkerboard, even linear spacing, and uneven spacing, for all cards in the Club suit, and is a pattern of red and white coloring taken from a group consisting of checkerboard, even linear spacing, and uneven spacing, for all cards in the Diamond suit.

3. The pack of claim 1, wherein both of the third and fourth outer zones are colored from a group consisting of black, midnight blue, or other dark color, for all cards in the Spade suit, both of the third and fourth outer zones are colored from a group consisting of red or a reddish hue, for all cards in the Heart suit, both of the third and fourth outer zones are a pattern of black and white coloring taken from a group consisting of checkerboard, even linear spacing, and uneven spacing, for all cards in the Club suit, and both of the third and fourth outer zones are a pattern of red and white coloring taken from a group consisting of checkerboard, even linear spacing, and uneven spacing, for all cards in the Diamond suit.

4. The pack of claim 1, wherein the fifth outer zone is colored black for all cards in the Spade suit, is colored red for all cards in the Heart suit, is an evenly spaced sequence of black and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and is an evenly spaced sequence of red and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.

5. The pack of claim 1, wherein a part of the fifth outer zone is black for all cards in the Spade suit, is red for all cards in the Heart suit, is an evenly spaced sequence of black and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and is an evenly spaced sequence of red and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.

6. The pack of claim 5, wherein the part of the fifth outer zone is adjacent to only the first and second outer zones.

7. The pack of claim 5, wherein the part of the fifth outer zone is adjacent to only the third and fourth outer zones.

8. The pack of any of claims 1-7, wherein the sum of the sizes of the third and fourth outer zones in square inches is at least as great as the size of the inner zone in square inches.

9. The pack of any of claims 1-7, wherein the sum of the sizes of the third and fourth outer zones in square inches is approximately the size of the inner zone in square inches.

10. The pack of any of claims 1-7, wherein the sum of the sizes of the inner, third, and fourth zones in square inches is approximately equal to the sum of the sizes of the first and second outer zones in square inches.

11. The pack of any of claims 1-7, wherein the combined size of the standard playing card value indicator and the standard playing card suit indicator occupies at least one fourth of the area of each of the first and second outer zones.

12. The pack of any of claims 1-7, wherein the combined size of the standard playing card value indicator and the standard playing card suit indicator occupies approximately one fourth of the area of each of the first and second outer zones.

13. The pack of any of claims 1-7, further comprising at least one joker card of conventional design.

14. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, the pack further comprising; a. Starting within the zone of the blank space existing between the left edge of the upper left value icon and the left opposing edge of said playing card, or within the peripheral projection of said blank space, a linear pattern which circumscribes, at least partially, the value icon in the upper left corner of said playing card face, and indicates the Spade suit where said line is black, or a shade thereof, or any dark color such as midnight blue, but indicates the Heart suit where said line is red, or a shade thereof.

15. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, the pack further comprising: a. Starting within or near the blank space existing between the upper left value icon and the left opposing edge of said card, a dashed or otherwise broken linear pattern such as dots, circles, ovals, slashes, etc. which circumscribes, at least partially, the value icon in the upper left corner of said playing card face, and indicates the Club suit where said line is black, or shade thereof and white, but indicates the Diamond suit where said line is red and white.

16. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, the pack further comprising: a. On at least one playing card face, in said deck of cards, a linear black, or dark colored pattern, which circumscribes said card at least partially, and occurs at, on, along or near the edge of said card face, and whose presence furnishes at least part of the means whereby said card is identified as a Spade, but whereby said line indicates the Heart suit if red or a shade thereof.

17. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, the pack further comprising: a. On at least one playing card face, in said deck of cards, a dashed, dotted, diagonally slashed or similarly patterned red, or shade thereof and white line which circumscribes said card at least partially and occurs at, on, along or adjacent to the peripheral edge of said playing card face, thereby furnishing at least part of the means whereby said card is identified as a Diamond, but identifies the Club suit where said line is black, or shade thereof and white.

18. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, the pack further comprising: a. On at least one card within said deck of cards, and located somewhere on said playing card face, the use of at least one monochrome icon, having at least four sides, and which indicates the Spade suit where said internal color is black, or shade thereof, but which indicates the Heart suit where said internal color is red, or shade thereof.

19. A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, the pack further comprising: a. On at least one card, within said deck of cards, the use of an icon located somewhere on the face of said card, and wherein said icon is at least partially filled with a pattern which may include dots, cross-hatching, checkerboards or varied but similar patterns, and whereby the presence of such pattern furnishes at least part of the means to identify said card as belonging to one of the two minor suits in said deck.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

None.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

None.

REFERENCE TO A “SEQUENCE LISTING,” A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING APPENDIX SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC AND AN INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE OF THE MATERIAL ON THE COMPACT DISC

None.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

This invention relates to playing cards, of the familiar generally rectangular type, each card of the pack having generally identical sizes and rear faces, and front faces denoting values, deuce through ace, of the different suits.

(2) Description of the Related Art

Packs of playing cards usually comprise fifty-two cards, each denoting a different value of one of four common suits: clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades. In a normal deck of cards, such as is used in the more common games of bridge and poker and consisting of four suits (i.e. Spades, Hearts, Diamonds and Clubs) and having thirteen cards in each suit, each card has two sides—a decorative side and a playing side. On the playing side are shown in the upper left-hand corner (and the lower right opposing one) the value icon and suit icon of each card. Card manufacturers have experimented with the sizes of each of these icons in an effort to improve their readability.

To aid in the identification of suits, the Spades and Clubs are always printed in black, whereas Hearts and Diamonds are always printed in red, and this constitutes a bimodal split of these four suits based upon color. These are the four and only suits, and their respective colors are always adhered to religiously in printing the numbers and symbols for the different suits on the card faces. Approximately in the center of each card is the suit/value icon showing both the rank and the suit of the card. Most of the time, it can be seen only when the card has been played in the center of the table. The Spades and Hearts are always referred to as the Major suits whereas the Diamonds and Clubs are called the Minors. This division is important in the game of Bridge because tricks in the Spade or Heart suits are assigned a value of thirty points, whereas those in the Club or Diamond suits have a value of only twenty points.

After picking up his thirteen playing cards, a player usually places them in his left hand and “fans-them-out” so that he might sort them by suit and value. In such an extended position, the icon of the card to the left is quite often overlapped by the card to its right. Much of the time that the cards are held in a player's hand, most of these icons are concealed by adjacent overlapping cards. The relative positions of the two cards within the fanfold must often be adjusted (widened) in order to read the suit icon of the underlying card. It is somewhat awkward to hold all of the cards in an extended fanfold. When the hand is actually played, after the bidding, the fanfold is usually held in a more compressed manner. This adversely affects the exposure of the underlying suit and value icons even more. That concealed portion of each icon hidden by an overlying card is usually increased. Often the positions of the cards in the fanfold must be periodically adjusted in order to identify some of the suit icons. Manual dexterity is a blessing at this point. This is particularity so for those elderly players who have lost different degrees of such dexterity. Among them are those players who have resorted to slotted wooden cardholders in which they place their cards on the table in front of themselves. It is critical to have the suit symbols as small as possible in order to have them fit in the small amount of space available at the respective corners—but they must also be large enough to be recognizable. Those restrictions create a real problem in the icons' current position in the upper left corner of the card face.

Before the card is actually played there must be no problem with the identification of a suit. The player must be completely aware, mentally, of the suit identification of the card which he is about to play before he actually does it. Obviously, this entire identification process must come before the card is played—afterwards is too late. Current suit identification is based upon four patterns appearing on each card. Not infrequently, many cards have them hidden by overlap.

When the hand is actually played, the card fanfold is usually held in a more compressed manner than it is while sorting the cards. This adversely affects the exposure of the underlying card even more. As each card is played, it often comes to rest four to six feet or more from the eyes of at least three of the players. Under these conditions, poor eyesight can be a definite handicap. Exposing an individual card on the table is the point in play at which suit misidentifications are almost always recognized. By then, it is too late to correct the mistake, for a penalty is now imposed in the game of Bridge. Even with larger symbols, such mistakes are still made in suit identification by those with impaired eyesight. Not infrequently, it includes a few players with normal eyesight—but not so good glasses.

In the popular game of bridge among senior citizens with impaired or failing eyesight, the misidentification of a card suit is embarrassing—the penalty which can follow is painful. Not all opponents follow the friendly adage of, “Forget it. I'm trying to beat you because I'm a better player than you are—not because I can see better than you can.” If the game is poker, much more than just friendships and a few pennies can be involved. Help in suit identification for this large group of visually impaired people is long overdue. A more prominent symbol is required which cannot be overlooked before the card is exposed or displayed to all of the players. Additionally, the elimination of the often repeated step of fanning the cards in one's hand would be no small boon to those players who have lost any of their manual dexterity. It would be convenient to be able to reduce the number of times that such fanning is necessary by adopting a suit symbol that is visible at all times.

Patents for various designs of playing cards include the following, none of which have solved these viewing problems.

Canadian Pat. No. 261,488, issued Jun. 8, 1926, to McCarroll, shows a pack of cards in which each card has on its front face an inner portion representing one card value, and a perimetric outer portion representing a different card value.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,693,525, issued Aug. 23, 1928, to Niederlitz, shows a deck of cards which appear to be similar to those in Canadian Patent 261,488 above, with inner and outer zones representing different values. This patent shows the use of eight different suits in a fifty-two card pack.

U.S. Pat. No. D230,617, issued Mar. 5, 1974, to Ekstrand, shows a design for a playing card, in which the playing side has large numbers, but this design patent does not show to which suit the card belongs.

U.S. Pat. No. 1,798,672, issued Oct. 9, 1979, to Hancock, discloses a pack of playing cards having forty eight split-value cards, the front face of each of which is divided into two visually distinctive zones by means of a diagonal dividing line.

None of these patents disclose using both large value numbers and large suit icons to help the visually impaired card players.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A pack of playing cards comprising at least fifty-two cards, each of the fifty-two cards being of generally the same rectangular configuration and standard size, and having visually similar rear faces, each of the fifty-two cards further comprising:

    • a. a front face divided into an inner zone, and first, second, third, fourth, and fifth outer zones;
    • b. the inner zone having first and second sides, a top, and a bottom;
    • c. the first outer zone adjacent to the first side of the inner zone;
    • d. the second outer zone adjacent to the second side of the inner zone;
    • e. the third outer zone adjacent to the top of the inner zone;
    • f. the fourth outer zone adjacent to the bottom of the inner zone,
    • g. the fifth outer zone adjacent to the first, second, third, and fourth outer zones, and separated from the inner zone by the first, second, third, and fourth outer zones; and
    • h. the inner zone and each of the first and second outer zones having standard indicia representative of a standard playing card value selected from deuce through ace of a standard playing card suit selected from club, diamond, heart and spade.

In another aspect of the invention, at least one of the third and fourth outer zones is colored black for all cards in the Spade suit, is colored red for all cards in the Heart suit, is a checkerboard pattern of black and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and is a checkerboard pattern of red and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.

In another aspect of the invention, both of the third and fourth outer zones are colored black for all cards in the Spade suit, both of the third and fourth outer zones are colored red for all cards in the Heart suit, both of the third and fourth outer zones are a checkerboard pattern of black and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and both of the third and fourth outer zones are a checkerboard pattern of red and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.

In another aspect of the invention, the fifth outer zone is colored black for all cards in the Spade suit, is colored red for all cards in the Heart suit, is an evenly spaced sequence of black and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and is an evenly spaced sequence of red and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.

In another aspect of the invention, a part of the fifth outer zone is black for all cards in the Spade suit, is red for all cards in the Heart suit, is an evenly spaced sequence of black and white coloring for all cards in the Club suit, and is an evenly spaced sequence of red and white coloring for all cards in the Diamond suit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a front face of a card from the Spade suit.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front face of a card from the Heart suit.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front face of a card from the Diamond suit.

FIG. 4 illustrates a front face of a card from the Club suit.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A card 10 shown in FIG. 1, which is typical of all the cards in the suit of Spades, has an inner zone 11 representing the deuce of spades, two outer zones 12 and 14, adjacent to the sides of the inner zone 11, two outer zones 16 and 18 adjacent to the top and bottom of the inner zone 11, and an outer zone 20 on the periphery of the card 10. The outer zone 20 is adjacent to the zones 12, 14, 16, and 18, and is separated from the inner zone 11 by the zones 12, 14, 16, and 18.

The zones can be any sizes, but in the preferred embodiment the zone 20 is the thinnest, the size of the inner zone 11 in square inches is approximately equal to the sum of the sizes of the zones 16 and 18 in square inches, and the sum of the sizes of the zones 10, 16, and 18 in square inches is approximately equal to the sum of the sizes of the zones 12 and 14 in square inches.

The card 10 contains a standard playing card value indicator 22 and a standard playing card suit indicator 24 in the upper left corner, and in the lower right corner. The standard playing card value indicator 22 and the standard playing card suit indicator 24 can be any size, but in the preferred embodiment the combined size of the standard playing card value indicator 22 and the standard playing card suit indicator 24 occupies approximately one third the area of each of the outer zones 12 and 14. As indicated by the solid black coloring, the outer zones 16, 18, and 20, the standard playing card value indicator 22, and the standard playing card suit indicator 24 are all colored black for all cards in the suit of Spades. However, in an alternate embodiment, the color black is replaced with any dark color, such as midnight blue.

Referring now to FIG. 2, a playing card 31 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Hearts. The zones for the card 31 have the same dimensions as the zones for the card 10. However, as indicated by the solid red coloring indication in FIG. 2, the outer zones 16, 18, and 20, the standard playing card value indicator 22, and the standard playing card suit indicator 24 are all colored red for all cards in the suit of Hearts. However, in an alternate embodiment, the color red is replaced with any reddish hue color.

Referring now to FIG. 3, a playing card 33 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Diamonds. The zones for the card 33 have the same dimensions as the zones for the card 10. However, as indicated by the red coloring, the standard playing card value indicator 22 and the standard playing card suit indicator 24 are both colored red for all cards in the suit of Diamonds. Because Diamonds is a minor suit, the outer zones 16, 18, and 20 are in a red and white checkerboard pattern to distinguish the minor Diamonds suit from the major Hearts suit.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a playing card 35 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Clubs. The zones for the card 35 have the same dimensions as the zones for the card 10. However, as indicated by the solid black coloring, the standard playing card value indicator 22 and the standard playing card suit indicator 24 are both colored black for all cards in the suit of Clubs. Because Clubs is a minor suit, the outer zones 16, 18, and 20 are in a black and white checkerboard pattern to distinguish the minor Clubs suit from the major Spades suit.

Referring now to FIG. 5, in an alternate embodiment shown in FIGS. 5-8, a playing card 52 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Spades. The zones 120, 116-S, and 126-S for the card 52 have different dimensions from the zones for the card 10. The inner zone 120 is a solid white background and solid black (or midnight blue) for the value and suit indicators in both the suits of Spades in FIG. 5 and Clubs in FIG. 8. Similarly, the inner zone 120 is a solid white background and solid red (or a reddish hue) for the value and suit indicators in both the suits of Hearts and Diamonds.

As indicated by the solid black coloring, the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 106-S are both colored solid black for all cards in the suit of Spades. Because Spades is a major suit, the outer zones 116-S, 126-S and 131-S are in solid black to distinguish the cards in the major Spades suit from the minor suit of Clubs. In another alternate embodiment, the outer zones 116-S, 126-S and 131-S do not completely enclose the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 106-S.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a playing card 53 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Hearts. As in FIG. 5, the zones 120, 117-H, and 127-H for the card 53 have different dimensions from the zones for the card 10. As indicated by the solid red coloring, the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 107-H are both colored solid red for all cards in the suit of Hearts. Because Hearts is a major suit, the outer zones 117-H, 127-H and 132-H are in solid red to distinguish the cards in the major Hearts suit from the minor suit of Diamonds. In another alternate embodiment, the outer zones 117-H, 127-H and 132-H do not completely enclose the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 107-H.

Referring now to FIG. 7, a playing card 54 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Diamonds. As in FIG. 5, the zones 120, 118-D, and 128-D for the card 54 have different dimensions from the zones for the card 10. As indicated by the solid red coloring, the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 108-D are both colored solid red for all cards in the suit of Diamonds. Because Diamonds is a minor suit, the outer zones 118-D, 128-D, and 133-D are in checkerboard red to distinguish the cards in the minor Diamonds suit from the major suit of Hearts. In another alternate embodiment, the outer zones 118-D, 128-D, and 133-D do not completely enclose the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 108-D. In yet other alternate embodiments, the outer zones 118-D, 128-D, and 133-D instead of being in a checkerboard red pattern can be a dashed red pattern, or otherwise any broken linear red pattern such as dots, circles, ovals, slashes, etc.

Referring now to FIG. 8, a playing card 55 is typical of all the cards in the suit of Clubs. As in FIG. 5, the zones 120, 119-C, and 129-C for the card 55 have different dimensions from the zones for the card 10. As indicated by the solid black coloring, the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 109-C are both colored solid black for all cards in the suit of Clubs. Because Clubs is a minor suit, the outer zones 119-C, 129-C, and 134-C are in checkerboard black to distinguish the cards in the minor suit of Clubs from the major suit of Spades. In another alternate embodiment, the outer zones 119-C, 129-C, and 134-C do not completely enclose the standard playing card value indicator 105 and the standard playing card suit indicator 109-C. In yet other alternate embodiments, the outer zones 119-C, 129-C, and 134-C instead of being in a checkerboard black pattern can be a dashed black pattern, or otherwise any broken linear black pattern such as dots, circles, ovals, slashes, etc.

In yet another alternate embodiment, the outer zones 131-S, 132-H, 133-D, and 134-C do not completely circumscribe their respective playing cards 52, 53, 54, and 55.





 
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