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Publication numberUS20040075214 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/277,436
Publication date22 Apr 2004
Filing date22 Oct 2002
Priority date22 Oct 2002
Publication number10277436, 277436, US 2004/0075214 A1, US 2004/075214 A1, US 20040075214 A1, US 20040075214A1, US 2004075214 A1, US 2004075214A1, US-A1-20040075214, US-A1-2004075214, US2004/0075214A1, US2004/075214A1, US20040075214 A1, US20040075214A1, US2004075214 A1, US2004075214A1
InventorsRonald Roberts
Original AssigneeRoberts Ronald J.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Card game
US 20040075214 A1
Abstract
A card game can be played by persons of all ages, with minimal training. The game uses cards that bear numbers and other indicia such as colors. The object of the game is to assemble “successions”, which are sequences of cards, all having the same indicia, and arranged in a numerical sequence which includes all the numbers available on the cards. The first player to assemble such a succession is the winner. A plurality of wild cards can be substituted for cards that are being used to assemble successions, and the use of wild cards therefore greatly enhances the entertainment value of the game. The game allows players to develop intricate strategies for acquiring and placing cards to assemble successions. Also, the game may be played with teams of players, or teams may agree to become allies, enabling the game strategy to become as complex as desired.
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Claims(17)
What is claimed is:
1. A method of playing a card game, comprising:
a) distributing cards to a plurality of players, wherein the cards bear numbers and other indicia,
b) randomly assigning an instruction to each player, wherein said instruction governs acquisition and placement of cards, and
c) determining a winner based on which player is first to assemble a succession of cards, said succession including cards having all available numbers and all of the cards in the succession having identical indicia.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein there are five possible instructions obtainable in step (b),
i) wherein a first instruction comprises requiring a player to take a card from a main deck or from a discard pile;
ii) wherein a second instruction comprises requiring a player to discard a card from the player's hand;
iii) wherein a third instruction comprises requiring a player to take a card from another player;
iv) wherein a fourth instruction comprises requiring a player to give a card to another player; and
v) wherein a fifth instruction comprises requiring a player to choose from among the instructions listed above, and to follow such instruction.
3. The method of claim 2, wherein the indicia are selected to comprise colors.
4. The method of claim 2, wherein the indicia are selected to comprise patterns.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the cards include a plurality of wild cards, and wherein the method includes substituting a wild card for a card used in assembling a succession.
6. The method of claim 1, wherein the cards include a plurality of wild cards, and wherein the method includes substituting a card used in assembling a succession for a wild card.
7. A method of playing a card game comprising distributing a plurality of cards to a plurality of players, wherein the cards bear numbers and indicia separate from said numbers, directing the players to acquire and lose cards according to randomly determined instructions, and determining a winner to be a first player to assemble a succession of cards, all of the cards in the succession having identical indicia, wherein the cards in the succession include all available numbers.
8. A method of playing a card game, comprising:
a) providing a plurality of cards, the cards having numbers and indicia separate from the numbers, and wherein there are at least two distinct indicia, and wherein the cards also include a plurality of wild cards, and distributing at least some of the cards to a plurality of players,
b) randomly assigning an instruction to each player, wherein said instruction governs at least one of the acquisition or disposition of at least one card, and
c) determining a winner based on which player is first to assemble a succession of cards, the cards in the succession having identical indicia and defining an unbroken integral sequence using all available numbers.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein step (b) comprises assigning an instruction from among five possible instructions,
i) wherein a first instruction comprises requiring a player to take a card from a main deck or from a discard pile;
ii) wherein a second instruction comprises requiring a player to discard a card from the player's hand;
iii) wherein a third instruction comprises requiring a player to take a card from another player;
iv) wherein a fourth instruction comprises requiring a player to give a card to another player; and
v) wherein a fifth instruction comprises requiring a player to choose from among the instructions listed above, and to follow such instruction.
10. The method of claim 9, wherein the method includes substituting one of said wild cards for a card used in assembling a succession.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein the method includes substituting a card used in assembling a succession for one of said wild cards.
12. Apparatus for playing a card game, comprising:
a) a plurality of cards, at least some of the cards bearing numbers, wherein the number bearing cards also include indicia separate from the numbers, at least some of the cards being wild cards, the wild cards being unnumbered,
b) a device for determining at least five distinct random outcomes, and
c) at least one card bearing instructions, the instructions corresponding to the random outcomes determined by said device.
13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the numbered cards include cards bearing the integers from one through ten.
14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein there is a complete set of numbered cards corresponding to each of said indicia.
15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein there are four distinct indicia.
16. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the determining device comprises a six-sided die bearing at least five distinct symbols.
17. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein there are five instructions,
i) wherein a first instruction comprises requiring a player to take a card from a main deck or from a discard pile,
ii) wherein a second instruction comprises requiring a player to discard a card from that player's hand,
iii) wherein a third instruction comprises requiring a player to take a card from another player,
iv) wherein a fourth instruction comprises requiring a player to give a card to another player, and
v) wherein a fifth instruction comprises requiring a player to choose from among the instructions listed above, and to follow such instruction.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention is a card game that provides entertainment and challenge for a plurality of players, or for teams of players.
  • [0002]
    The prior art has provided many card games that involve varying levels of luck and skill. Simple games, such as “war”, “fish”, and the like, are sufficiently simple that they can be easily learned and played by small children. Other games, such as poker, involve both an element of chance, and an element of skill in making decisions about how to play various hands of cards. Still other card games, such as bridge, require substantial practice and study before a player achieves a desired level of proficiency.
  • [0003]
    The present invention provides a card game which can be played and enjoyed by both adults and children. While the basic rules of the game are simple enough to allow almost anyone to learn to play quickly, the game involves multi-faceted strategies that allow the players to develop their skills at playing. The game provides a very large number of possible courses and outcomes, so that each game is likely to be interesting and entertaining. The card game of the present invention can be made still more complex by playing it in teams.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    The card game of the present invention uses a deck of cards, most of the cards being identified by a numeral and also by a color or pattern. There are also a plurality of wild cards. In the preferred embodiment, the numerals on the cards may range from one to ten, and there are four colors. Also, there are preferably two sets of numbered cards for each color or pattern. Thus, in one preferred embodiment, there are 80 numbered cards. There may also be ten or more wild cards.
  • [0005]
    The object of the game is to place on the table an ordered sequence of cards of one color, called a Succession. For example, a Succession could be the set of red cards ranging from one to ten. The first player to place a complete Succession on the table is the winner.
  • [0006]
    In playing the game, cards are dealt to each player, and a Main Deck (having face-down cards) and a Discard Pile (in which cards are discarded face-up) are established. Each player's turn includes rolling a die, or operating an equivalent device that produces random outcomes. The result of the roll of the die is associated with an instruction that must be followed by the player. For example, one such instruction is to take a card from the Main Deck or from the Discard Pile. Another instruction requires the player to discard a card from his or her hand. Still another instruction requires a player to take a card from another player's hand. Still another instruction requires a player to give a card to another player. Also, one of the instructions is deemed “wild”, and may be treated by the player as the equivalent of any of the preceding instructions.
  • [0007]
    Players attempt to build a Succession by starting, and adding to, Partial Successions of cards. A player may form a Partial Succession by placing at least three cards, of the same color, and in numerical sequence, on the table. For example, a Blue 3, Blue 4, and Blue 5 comprises a Partial Succession. A player may add to the Partial Succession, but only with cards of the same color, and only if the added cards are numerically adjacent to the existing cards on the table. Thus, in the above example, a player can expand the Partial Succession only by adding a Blue 2 or a Blue 6.
  • [0008]
    Wild cards are deemed the equivalent of any numbered card, and may be used to build Partial Successions. Moreover, subject to particular rules, wild cards can be substituted for cards in Partial Successions, or they may be removed from Partial Successions in exchange for numbered cards that maintain the integrity of the Partial Succession. It is through the use of wild cards that numbered cards may circulate in and out of Partial Successions that have been assembled by the various players.
  • [0009]
    The game may be played by individual players or by teams of players. Whether the game is played by individuals or teams, the object of the game is still to be the first to assemble a complete Succession of cards.
  • [0010]
    The present invention therefore has the object of providing a card game.
  • [0011]
    The invention has the further object of providing a card game involving the placement of cards, in numerical sequence, on a playing surface.
  • [0012]
    The invention has the further object of providing a game which includes an element of chance, as well as requiring a degree of skill.
  • [0013]
    The invention has the further object of providing an entertaining game which can be quickly learned and enjoyed by persons of virtually all ages.
  • [0014]
    The reader skilled in the art will recognize other objects and advantages of the present invention, from the following brief description of the drawings, the detailed description of the invention, and the appended claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    [0015]FIG. 1 provides a plan view of some of the cards used to play the game of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 2 provides a plan view of an instruction card, used in the game of the present invention, to remind players about the meaning of the symbols obtained from a die.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of a six-sided die used in playing the card game of the present invention.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 4 provides a top view of the Main Deck, and the Discard Pile, used in playing the card game of the present invention.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 5 provides a diagram showing several Partial Successions of cards, formed during the course of the card game of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0020]
    The card game of the present invention is preferably played by at least two, and up to six players, or teams of players. The game preferably uses a special deck of cards, the cards having numbers and colors, or other indicia. The object of the game is to obtain, and place on a table, a sequence of ten cards, of one color, in numerical order. In this game, the sequence of ten cards of one color and in numerical order is called a “Succession”. The winner of the game is thus the first player to complete a Succession.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 1 shows some of the cards that can be used with the game of the present invention. Each card has a numeral, and in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the numeral may be repeated one or more times on the card for easy identification. The numeral appears on only one side of the card; the other side contains no distinguishing notations. When the non-numbered side of the card is facing up, the card is said to be placed “face-down”.
  • [0022]
    The invention is not limited by the particular style of numbering, or by the number of times that such numeral is repeated on the card.
  • [0023]
    In addition to having a numeral, each numbered card has a code, which may be a pattern, a color, a letter, any combination of the foregoing, or any other indicia for distinguishing one code from another. In the description of the present game, it is convenient to refer to cards of a particular color. But it is understood that the term “color”, as used throughout this specification, is intended to include all of the other possibilities described above. Because the drawings are shown in black and white, it is convenient to illustrate the codes as distinct patterns instead of colors.
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 1 does not show all of the cards having a particular pattern or color. Instead, the figure simply shows a sampling of such cards, sufficient to illustrate the use of four different patterns. In the example shown, the cards “1”, “2”, and “3” have a first pattern, the cards “4”, “5”, and “6” have a second pattern, the cards “7”, “8”, and “9” have a third pattern, and the card “10” has a fourth pattern.
  • [0025]
    The deck of cards also includes a wild card. Preferably, there are a plurality of wild cards. As will be described in detail later, a wild card can be used in substitution for any of the numbered cards of any color.
  • [0026]
    In one preferred embodiment, there are 92 playing cards altogether, which includes two sets of numbered cards, in four colors each. Since, in this embodiment, the numbered cards extend from one through ten, there are a total of 80 numbered cards ((102)4=80). In the preferred embodiment, there are also 12 wild cards, making a total of 92 cards. Some of the cards may also be instruction cards, which are not used in play, but serve only as reminders of the instructions associated with each possible outcome of a roll of the die. In the preferred embodiment, there are six instruction cards, so that the deck includes 98 cards altogether.
  • [0027]
    The game can be played with other numbers of cards. For example, there could be, say, five different colors, and the numbered cards could be one through nine (instead of one through ten). The number of sets of numbered cards could be changed; instead of two such sets, there could be three or more, for each color. The number of wild cards could also be varied. In all cases, the concept of the game remains the same, but varying the numbers of cards may vary the length and complexity of the game.
  • [0028]
    The present invention also uses a six-sided die shown in FIG. 3. The die of FIG. 3 is a conventional die, but the game can also be played with a specially constructed die that has colors or patterns, or other indicia, on each of its sides. In one preferred embodiment, each of the six sides of the die has a different color, and these colors are preferably Blue, Purple, Green, Red, Yellow, and Orange. However, the invention is not limited by the choice of colors. What is important is that the die provide a plurality of different indicia which can be used to indicate different instructions.
  • [0029]
    Also, it is important to note that the indicia on the die have an entirely different meaning from the indicia on the cards. For example, it is possible, though perhaps not preferable, to use colors on the sides of the die, and on the cards, and some or all of these colors could be the same. But it will become apparent from the discussion below that the indicia shown on the die have entirely different meanings from the indicia shown on the cards.
  • [0030]
    The explanation of the rules of the game, given below, will be made with respect to the preferred number of cards described above. The preferred number of cards and colors has been found to provide a game having optimal length and complexity.
  • [0031]
    The card game of the present invention is played as follows.
  • [0032]
    For purposes of the following explanation, assume that each player comprises one person, i.e. the number of members of each team is one.
  • [0033]
    The game is preferably played on a table, to support the cards that are not being held in the hands of the players. Alternatively, the game could be played on a floor, or on any other surface that will support a plurality of cards. In this specification, the term “table” is intended to include any other support surface.
  • [0034]
    Before playing the game, the cards are thoroughly shuffled. For purposes of ease of manufacturing or packaging, the cards may be provided in one or more separate, duplicate decks, in which case the decks should be first combined and then shuffled thoroughly.
  • [0035]
    The players then determine who will play first. This selection may be done by “cutting” the deck, or by selecting random cards from the deck, with the player having the highest (or lowest) card going first. Any other means of determining the first player could be used instead. For example, the players could roll the die to make the determination.
  • [0036]
    Next, one of the players, such as the player who will go first, deals seven cards to each player, the cards being dealt face-down. The dealer then places the remaining cards on the table, in the middle of the players, in a stack face-down. This face-down stack is called the “Main Deck”. The dealer turns up the top card of the Main Deck and places it, face-up, next to the Main Deck. This face-up card begins a stack that is called the “Discard Pile”.
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 4 illustrates the Main Deck and the Discard Pile. The left-hand side of FIG. 4 shows the Main Deck, whose cards are face down, i.e. with the non-numbered sides facing up. The Discard Pile is shown to the right, adjacent to the Main Deck. In the illustration of FIG. 4, there are six cards in the Discard Pile, arranged so that the number and pattern of each card is visible, while preserving the ordering of the cards. That is, the “4” card is deemed to be at the bottom of the Discard Pile, and the “6” card is at the top.
  • [0038]
    In one embodiment, the name of the present card game is “Out of Control”, and that is the legend printed on the non-numbered sides of all of the cards, as shown in FIG. 4. But the invention is not limited to any particular name, or any particular designation on the non-numbered sides of the cards. It is only necessary that the non-numbered sides of the cards contain no markings that reveal the number or code appearing on the numbered side of the cards. Preferably, the non-numbered sides of all of the cards contain the same markings.
  • [0039]
    After the initial cards have been dealt, and it has been determined who will play first, each player takes a turn, starting with the player selected as described above, and continuing with adjacent players, in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.
  • [0040]
    A player's turn comprises at least a roll of the die, and the completion of an instruction associated with the result of the roll. In addition, the player's turn may also include the placement of one or more cards on the table, as will be described in detail later.
  • [0041]
    Since the die is six-sided, it can provide a maximum of six different instructions. In the preferred embodiment of the present game, two of the indicia on the die are assigned to the same instruction, and one of the indicia is designated as a “wild” instruction. Thus, in the preferred embodiment, there are four different instructions. (covering five of the indicia on the die) plus the one “wild” instruction.
  • [0042]
    The instructions are as shown in FIG. 2, and as described below. Preferably, the card shown in FIG. 2 is displayed to the players to remind them of the meaning of each symbol on the die. As the players become more familiar with the game, it may not be necessary to display the instruction card.
  • [0043]
    The die symbolized by the instruction card of FIG. 2, and as directly illustrated in FIG. 3, contains conventional numerical die indicia. In this specification these indicia will be identified by the numbers associated therewith. For example, the symbol comprising three dots will be identified below as “3”. It is understood that other indicia could be used on the die. For example, each side of the die could have a different color, pattern, or other code.
  • [0044]
    The instructions are as follows.
  • [0045]
    If a player rolls a “1” or a “2”, the player is instructed to take a card from the top of the Main Deck, or from the Discard Pile, and add it to the cards in that player's hand. If the player chooses to take a card from the Discard Pile, the player must take the selected card, and all of the cards above it in the Discard Pile, and must use the selected card to add to a Partial Succession (to be described below), while keeping the remaining cards in his or her hand. If the player chooses to take the top card from the Discard Pile, then the player takes that card only, but still must use it immediately. If the player chooses to take a card from the Main Deck, there is no obligation to use the card immediately. In the example of FIG. 4, if the player wants to take the “10” card from the Discard Pile, that player must also take the “2” and “6” that are above the “10”.
  • [0046]
    If a player rolls a “3”, the player must take a card from his or her hand and place it in the Discard Pile. All cards in the Discard Pile are placed face-up. Also, the cards in the Discard Pile must be spread laterally, as shown in FIG. 4, so that the identity of each card in the Discard Pile is apparent to all players.
  • [0047]
    If a player rolls a “4”, the player must take a card from any other player, and must add it to the first player's hand. The player taking the card must take the card only from among the cards held in the hand of another player, not from cards on the table. The player taking the card may not look at the cards held by the other player, but must take the card from another player at random. Also, players who are having cards taken away in this manner must give the taking player the opportunity to take any card, and thus may not hide cards, double cards, or slide cards down into the palm of their hands.
  • [0048]
    If a player rolls a “5”, the player must give a card to another player. The player giving the card must remove a card from the cards being held in his or her own hand, and give that card to another player, in such a manner so that the other players (if any) do not see the identity of the card.
  • [0049]
    If a player rolls a “6”, the player may choose to follow any of the above instructions. Thus, the “6” is deemed a “wild” instruction. In deciding which instruction to follow, the player must make a strategic decision concerning which instruction will give him or her an advantage.
  • [0050]
    Note that since the “1” and the “2” are associated with the same instruction, the probability of receiving this instruction is twice the probability of receiving any of the other instructions.
  • [0051]
    The invention is not limited to the specific association of numerals with instructions shown above. That is, the indicia on the die could be assigned to different instructions, without changing the dynamics of the game, as along as the instructions described above are still represented. For example, instead of using the “6” as the “wild” instruction, one could use the “1” (or any other symbol on the die), and the “6” could be used for another instruction instead of being “wild”.
  • [0052]
    As mentioned above, the object of the game is to place cards on the table so as to build up a Succession, i.e. a sequence of cards of one color in exact numerical order, and including all of the available numbers. An example of a Succession is the set of Blue cards extending from one through ten. The placement of cards on the table, by a player, may occur immediately before that player's turn, or during the player's turn, as will be described below.
  • [0053]
    A “Partial Succession” is defined as at least three cards of the same color, in numerical succession. For example, the three red cards having the numerals 5, 6, and 7 comprise a Partial Succession. Except for the very unusual (and lucky) situation in which a player has a complete Succession in his or her hand, and can place the cards down at once, a player normally starts with a Partial Succession and attempts to add to it so as to build up a complete Succession. FIG. 5 provides four examples of Partial Successions. Three of these examples include the use of wild cards, to be described later.
  • [0054]
    If a player has cards defining a Partial Succession, he or she may place those cards on the table before his or her turn, i.e. before the player rolls the die. After the player has placed a Partial Succession on the table, the player, before subsequent turns, may add to those cards, by placing additional cards in numerical order. However, the player must place cards that are numerically adjacent to the cards already on the table. For example, if a player has placed blue cards 5, 6, and 7 on the table, then the player could later place blue card 4 or blue card 8 on the table. The player may not place blue card 3 or blue card 9 on the table, because these numbers are not adjacent to the numbers already displayed on the table.
  • [0055]
    A player may not start a Partial Succession with fewer than three cards. But after a group of three cards is placed on the table, the player may add any number of cards to those already on the table, as long as the numbers on the cards comprise an unbroken sequence of integers of the same color. For example, a player may not have the sequence 1, 4, 5, 6, 7 because the number “1” is not numerically adjacent to the number “4”.
  • [0056]
    The players may attempt to create, and place on the table, as many Partial Successions, of any color, as possible, throughout the game. The nature of the Succession which a player attempts to build may change during the game. That is, a player may start to build a Succession of one color, but may need to change plans if another player is trying to establish the same Succession.
  • [0057]
    The rules for placing cards or Partial Successions on the table may be summarized as follows. First, a player may place an initial Partial Succession on the table only if a) all cards to be placed on the table are of the same color, and are in numerical sequence (e.g. 1, 2, 3, or 5, 6, 7, etc.), and b) there are at least three such cards. After an initial set of cards has been placed on the table, the player may add a single card, or multiple cards, to any of his or her own Partial Successions, as long as the cards are of a color that matches that of the existing Partial Succession present on the table, and as long as the resulting Partial Succession is still in numerical order as described above.
  • [0058]
    There is no limit to the number of cards that may be placed on the table, if the cards are of the same color and in numerical sequence. A player may even put down all of the cards in his or her hand, if they meet these criteria.
  • [0059]
    Once a Partial Succession is placed on the table, all of the cards so placed must remain on the table, and may not be taken by any other players at any time during the remainder of the game, except through the use of the wild cards, described later.
  • [0060]
    A player may obtain or discard cards only during his or her turn. Additionally, a player may obtain or discard cards if permitted by the instructions received from the roll of the die.
  • [0061]
    In order to pick up from the Discard Pile, the following three conditions must be fulfilled:
  • [0062]
    a) the instruction illustrated by numbers “1” and “2” in FIG. 2, or the “wild” instruction, must have been obtained from the roll of the die;
  • [0063]
    b) the player must take all of the cards between the selected card and the top card of the Discard Pile;
  • [0064]
    c) the player must use at least the selected card taken from the Discard Pile immediately in a new Partial Succession or to add to an existing Partial Succession. The player may use more than the selected card, if other cards taken from the Discard Pile can be used in building up the Partial Succession.
  • [0065]
    Note that a player may add to a Partial Succession immediately before his or her turn, or during a turn, if instructed to take a card (instruction “1” or “2”) and if the player chooses to take the card from the Discard Pile. If the player chooses to take a card from the Main Deck, he or she may take only one card, the identity of which is not known to the player beforehand. If that card fits into an existing Partial Succession of that player, the player must immediately place the card on the table as part of that Partial Succession. Otherwise, the player keeps the card in his or her hand.
  • [0066]
    Although the Discard Pile is arranged so that its cards are spread horizontally, so that the identities of all the cards are visible, the cards still overlap each other partially, so that there is a well-defined top and bottom of the Discard Pile.
  • [0067]
    For example, if the top card in the Discard Pile is a Green 6, and the card below that is a Blue 4, and the card below that is a Red 2, and if the player needs only the Red 2, the player must pick up the Red 2 and use it in a Partial Succession immediately, and the player must also pick up the Blue 4 and Green 6 and put these cards in his or her hand.
  • [0068]
    Whenever a player picks up a card from the Main Deck (upon receiving the instruction “1” or “2” of FIG. 2), or from the Discard Pile, the player must always discard one card, i.e. the player must take one card from his or her hand and place it on the Discard Pile at the end of the turn. However, if a player takes a card from another player (upon receiving the instruction “4” of FIG. 2) or gives a card to another player (according to the instruction “5”), there is no need to discard a card.
  • [0069]
    All players must maintain at least one card in their hands at all times. If a player discards his or her last remaining card, or loses his or her last remaining card to another player, the player must immediately draw three cards from the Main Deck so that the player has three cards in his or her hand at all times. A player may lose a single card if instructed, by the roll of the die, to discard a card, or to give a card to another player. A player may lose more than one card at a time if the player is able to deposit two or more cards on the table in building up a Partial Succession.
  • [0070]
    In summary, cards may be located in four different categories of places. First, each player has one or more cards in his or her hand. Secondly, some or all of the players may have laid down several cards forming Partial Successions. Thirdly, there are cards in the Main Deck. Fourthly, there are cards in the Discard Pile.
  • [0071]
    Wild cards are handled according to the following rules. In general, a wild card can be substituted for a card of any color or number. Players, however, may substitute a wild card for another card only during their respective turns, and before they finish executing their die instruction.
  • [0072]
    A player may begin, or add to, a Partial Succession using one or more wild cards. For example, a player may start a Partial Succession by laying down the cards Green 6, wild card, Green 8, with the wild card taking the place of a Green 7. Also, in the same example, a player may expand the Partial Succession by using another wild card as if it were a Green 5 or a Green 9.
  • [0073]
    Three of the four examples of Partial Successions, shown in FIG. 5, involve the use of wild cards. The first Partial Succession shown in that figure uses a wild card in place of a “4” card, for example. In FIG. 5, the second example (i.e. cards numbered 4, 5, and 6) is the only example that does not include a wild card.
  • [0074]
    A player who has a Partial Succession placed on the table may, at the beginning of his or her turn, substitute a “wild” card from his or her own hand, in the Partial Succession. For example, if a player has placed Blue 4, Blue 5, and Blue 6 on the table, the player may substitute a wild card for, say, the Blue 6, and place the Blue 6 in his or her hand.
  • [0075]
    The above-described procedure is not limited to the Partial Succession of the player holding the wild card. If a player has a wild card in his or her hand, the player may substitute the wild card for any card on the table, in any Partial Succession, during that player's turn. For example, if a first player needs a Red 6 to build a Succession, and a Red 6 is currently on the table, forming part of a Partial Succession of a second player, the first player may, at the beginning of his or her turn, put down a wild card in place of the second player's Red 6, and then use the Red 6 in his or her own hand. If a player receives a regular or a wild card in this manner, the player may put down the card in a Partial Succession or keep it in his or her hand.
  • [0076]
    If a player has used a wild card in a Partial Succession, that player, or any other player, may, during his or her turn, substitute the actual numbered card for the wild card and use that wild card as any other number or color, to his or her own advantage. This rule allows any player to obtain a wild card from the table, by substituting the numbered card for the wild card in his or her own Partial Succession, or in the Partial Succession of any other player. For example, if there is a Partial Succession of Blue 5, wild card, and Blue 7 on the table, any player holding a Blue 6 in his or her hand may, during his or her turn, place the Blue 6 on the table as a substitution, and may take and use the wild card to his or her own advantage.
  • [0077]
    A player may substitute cards, or put down or pick up cards, at any time during his or her turn, before or after the player rolls the die, and before or after the player has finished executing the die instruction. But after the next player's turn begins, i.e. when the next player either puts down or picks up cards, or rolls the die, the previous player may no longer take any further action until his or her next turn.
  • [0078]
    Note that, while the game is in progress, there can be only Partial Successions on the table. Once a player has formed a complete Succession, the game is over.
  • [0079]
    It will be recalled that the general rule is that cards laid down in Partial Successions may not be taken away. The use of the wild card is the only exception to this rule. As described above, the wild card is the only vehicle for circulating cards in and out of Partial Successions.
  • [0080]
    The above-described game can be won by developing various strategies. Although the die instructions received by each player are determined by chance, i.e. by rolling the die, the rules allow a considerable amount of choice to the player. For example, a player who obtains an instruction to take a card from another player must decide from whom to take, and a player who is directed to give a card to another must decide to whom to give. A player who receives an instruction to take a card may choose to take a card from the Main Deck or from the Discard Pile (in which case the player may obtain more than one card). The player who obtains a wild instruction may of course decide to follow any of the possible instructions, and that player's decision is a strategic decision that will influence the outcome of the game. Players also have considerable choice in how to use their wild cards.
  • [0081]
    The game as described above can be made subject to a time limit. For example, the winner of the game could be defined as the player who is first to create a Succession, or the player who has constructed the longest Partial Succession when the time limit has been reached.
  • [0082]
    The game could also be played as a tournament comprising three or more games. The winner of the tournament can be the one who wins the largest number of games, or the winner can be the one who wins a predetermined plurality (such as two-thirds or three-quarters) of the games.
  • [0083]
    There are various alternatives to the game described above. One alternative is to replace individual players with teams of players. Each single player could be replaced with a team having as many as four players. Each team would still have the object of completing a Succession as described above. The team members could cooperate to help teammates obtain cards necessary to build Successions, and to prevent opponents from building Successions.
  • [0084]
    Another alternative is to allow cooperation between pairs of players or teams. For example, team play can be allowed between opposite or adjacent partners, if agreed upon before the game starts, and the teams can then compete against other teams. The teams may even form alliances with other teams, to enhance the competitiveness of the game. As is true for the number of single players, the minimum number of teams is two, and the preferred maximum number of teams is four. Preferably, the maximum number of players on a team is four.
  • [0085]
    In team play, one member can be responsible for handling the cards, and another player can be responsible for planning strategies for the team. Still another could be responsible for observing the strategy of the other teams.
  • [0086]
    In the embodiment with alliances between teams or players, the game can be played in the same way, except that the optimal strategies will be different, because a first player or team may take action that helps another player or team that is allied with the first. Conversely, any members of the alliance may take action to block a non-member of the alliance, i.e. by taking critical cards away from an opponent.
  • [0087]
    Once the players select teams, they may not switch partners in the middle of a game.
  • [0088]
    The game of the present invention can be modified in many further ways. As noted earlier, the codes used to identify the die instructions, and to distinguish the cards, can be different from those shown above. The invention is not limited by the size, shape, number, or configuration of the cards, or by the configuration of the die. The die could be replaced by any other device, such as a spinner, or by an equivalent electronic device suitable for generating the required number of random outcomes. The instructions associated with each roll of the die (or operation of the spinner or other device) can be varied from what is described above, within the scope of the invention.
  • [0089]
    Although, in the preferred embodiment, the game of the present invention uses a special deck of cards, it is apparent that the present game could also be played with a conventional deck of cards. For example, a Jack could be considered equivalent to “11”, a Queen to “12”, and a King to “13”. The four suits could comprise the colors or codes described above. A Succession could then be defined as a sequence of cards, from “2” through “King”, all having the same suit. The aces could be wild cards. Alternatively, the Succession could extend only from “2” through “10”, with the aces and picture cards all serving as wild cards.
  • [0090]
    The present game could also be played by a programmed computer. A computer could be programmed to follow the rules set forth above, and therefore to take the place of a human player. Thus, the invention can be implemented through an electronic gaming machine, which allows one or more players to play the game against the machine. The machine would include a microprocessor, or its equivalent, which, among other things, would include a random number generator that would take the place of a die or spinner. Instead of physical cards, the cards used in playing the game could be displayed on a video monitor, in a manner similar to what is commonly done with video poker machines. The human player could identify and manipulate the cards on the screen by the use of specifically designated keys on a keyboard, or by the use of a computer mouse, or by a touch-screen technology that allows the player to indicate which cards on the screen are to be put down or removed.
  • [0091]
    The above, and other similar modifications, should be considered within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/292
International ClassificationA63F1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F1/00
European ClassificationA63F1/00