US20090062003A1 - Device and method for determining and/or visualising of moves, steps and processes of card plays - Google Patents

Device and method for determining and/or visualising of moves, steps and processes of card plays Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090062003A1
US20090062003A1 US12220424 US22042408A US2009062003A1 US 20090062003 A1 US20090062003 A1 US 20090062003A1 US 12220424 US12220424 US 12220424 US 22042408 A US22042408 A US 22042408A US 2009062003 A1 US2009062003 A1 US 2009062003A1
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Prior art keywords
detection device
game
input
card
device
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Abandoned
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US12220424
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Uwe KERSCHER
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POKERTRONIC GmbH
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POKERTRONIC GmbH
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F1/06Card games appurtenances
    • A63F1/18Score computers; Miscellaneous indicators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F1/06Card games appurtenances
    • A63F1/067Tables or similar supporting structures
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F1/00Card games
    • A63F1/06Card games appurtenances
    • A63F1/10Card holders
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/24Electric games; Games using electronic circuits not otherwise provided for
    • A63F2009/2401Detail of input, input devices
    • A63F2009/2411Input form cards, tapes, discs
    • A63F2009/2419Optical

Abstract

The present invention provides for a system for detecting, storing, and visualizing game plays, events, and operations in card games. The system includes a game table which is transparent or partially transparent in at least one position, and which has positions for at least two players, and has an optical detection divide provided underneath for detecting images of face-down playing cards, having an evaluation unit subsequent to the optical detection device for automatically identifying, storing, and/or processing the card values, and having an input and/or detection device for recording game plays such as the dealing of card values by a moderator, placing bids of monetary or value amounts by individual players, etc., the input or detection device being linked to the evaluation unit. In one embodiment, the input and detection device includes a speech identification and/or recognition system.

Description

  • The invention relates to a system and a method for detecting, storing, and/or visualizing game plays, events, and operations in card games.
  • In the present context, “card games” mean in particular games with at least two players who are dealt a defined number of cards from a deck having a total of 32 to 52 or more (or optionally, also fewer) cards, whereby the players at their option are able to make one or more game plays in which, for example, additional cards may be dealt or individual cards may be replaced. The games are typically played according to specified rules, so that the player who has the highest-value combination of cards is the winner.
  • BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  • Many card games have become so popular that they are recorded for television broadcasts, thus making them accessible to a larger audience. In order to present the transmission to the television viewers in an appealing manner, it is desirable for all game plays to be detected and clearly visualized, and also optionally commented on by an announcer.
  • To identify card values dealt to the individual players, it is suitable to use, for example, prepared cards which may be electronically detected. For this purpose the cards may be provided in particular with transponders or so-called RFID identifiers, thus allowing electronic detection of all dealt cards and their allocation to the individual players.
  • In many card games, in the course of the game the players place bids of monetary or value amounts, which are won by the player with the highest card values, i.e., the player who is the last to “call” in repeated bids. One well-known variant of such card games which has recently become very popular is poker, for which there are many different variants. The poker variant “Texas Hold 'em” in particular has become well-known and popular for mass broadcasting and in tournaments. In this variant, each of a maximum ten players has two of his own cards, which are kept face down in front of him on a table. There are also three cards face up in the center, which each player may conceptually associate with his own two cards in order to form the highest possible combination. A “straight” may be formed, for example, when a player has a “9” and a “Jack” face down in front of him, and an “8,” “10,” and a “Queen” are face up in the center of the game table. The combination thus provides this player with a straight, because the cards form the consecutive sequence “8,” “9,” “10,” “Jack,” and “Queen.” Other players may have different combinations. Of the players who remain until the end by bidding and do not prematurely withdraw because they assume that another player has a higher combination, the player who has the highest combination is the winner. A brief description of this known card game is found in U.S. Pat. No. 7,364,162 B2, for example.
  • Numerous systems and devices are known from the prior art for automatically detecting playing card values and game operations, but these are generally quite complicated and also unavoidably require modification of at least the game chips. In addition, interference with the conventional game operations is more or less pronounced, which is not favored by many traditionally oriented players.
  • OBJECT OF THE INVENTION
  • An object of the present invention is to allow improved detection, storage, and/or visualization of game plays, events, and operations in card games with the least possible interference with conventional, traditional game operations. A particular aim is that modifications of the playing cards are not necessary.
  • This object of the invention is achieved by the subject matter of the independent claims. Features representing advantageous refinements of the invention result from the dependent claims.
  • The present invention relates to a system for detecting, storing, and visualizing game plays, events, and operations in card games, having a game table which is transparent at least in places or is partially transparent, and which has positions for at least two players, and has an optical detection device provided underneath for detecting images of face-down playing cards, having an evaluation unit subsequent to the optical detection device for automatically identifying, storing, and/or processing the card values, and having an input and/or detection device for recording game plays such as the dealing of card values by a moderator, placing bids of monetary or value amounts by individual players, etc., the input or detection device being linked to the evaluation unit.
  • One particularly advantageous application variant of the present invention allows automatic recording and evaluation of card games in which both face-up and face-down cards as well as game chips or points are used. The invention may be used in particular for card games which are typically presided over by a moderator or dealer.
  • Previous systems for automatic recording and/or evaluation of card games require either that specially marked cards and specially marked game chips be used, or that the actual customary game operation be drastically adapted to the technology that is used. In addition, most systems record only the result, not the actual course of the game which has led to this result. The system according to the invention has none of these disadvantages. Standard cards and chips may be used. Furthermore, it is not necessary to modify the course of the game. Only one additional procedure is required of the players; otherwise, the process of recording and evaluating the game is completely transparent for the players.
  • In one possible variant of the invention, the input and detection device includes a speech identification and/or recognition system for recording and identifying announcements by the moderator. The input and detection device may also include at least one hand and/or foot switch for temporary activation of the speech identification and/or recognition system for the moderator.
  • An input and/or detection device is provided for detecting game plays such as the dealing of card values by a moderator, placing of bids of monetary or value amounts by individual players, etc., and for manual input by the moderator the input or detection device may be provided at a computer workstation equipped with a monitor and linked to the evaluation unit. In particular, this input and detection device may be formed by a pointer device, for example a computer mouse, and/or a keyboard and/or a touchscreen for entry and recording of the relevant game and/or card data by the moderator. In this manner a simple and economical system for data detection and entry is provided which may also be operated very easily without interfering with the course of the game. Compared to automatic processes such as the speech recognition system, mentioned in the parent patent application for the present additional application, this manual data entry has the advantage that it has a very simple design, while at the same time is very robust and insensitive to external influences. Furthermore, it may be operated by various moderators simultaneously or in immediate succession without the need for any adjustment steps.
  • In principle, the table used for playing may have the design of a conventional poker table; i.e., it is divided into up to ten positions for the players. A specially designated position for the dealer may also be provided. The table includes a computing unit, such as a standard personal computer for the recording and evaluation software, which is preferably accommodated beneath the table, for example in a table leg. This computing unit includes the evaluation unit. The computer is preferably equipped with a WLAN in order to run data on the computer or to retrieve results. A card scanner is mounted in front of each player, beneath the playing surface. Also located in front of the player are two control lights. A headset and two foot switches are located at the dealer's position.
  • The dealer may conduct the game in an accustomed manner. In card games having a dealer, the dealer is required anyway to clearly repeat all game plays as well as antes and cards in order to avoid misunderstandings, for example concerning the amount of the ante made between the players. The dealer thus functions as a moderator for the game. By means of the headset and foot switch the dealer is also connected with the table, i.e., the computing unit provided therein. An integrated speech recognition system then evaluates the comments made by the dealer on the progress of the game. The dealer must actuate the foot switch for each comment which relates to the game as such. This prevents a conversation between the dealer and a player from being misinterpreted as a game play. The second foot switch is used for correction of incorrect inputs. By means of the speaker housed in the headset the table, i.e., the computing unit provided therein, informs only the dealer, in the form of speech, concerning the current status of the game. The computing unit first repeats the input provided by the dealer, and then repeats the resulting outcome. In poker it is possible, for example, to bet everything in one hand (“all in”). When the dealer inputs this information to the computing unit, the computing unit instantaneously determines the amount of the ante, and the minimum bid which the next player must make. Since the computing unit has a complete overview of the game situation via the speech input, it is able to assist the dealer at any time by means of speech output. The vocabulary which the computing unit, i.e., the speech recognition software, recognizes is greatly dependent on the phase of the game at a particular time. If a game play is not permitted in a given phase, the associated speech term is not present in the list of comments which may be recognized by the computing unit at that particular moment. The efficiency of recognition of the speech input is significantly improved by this strict limitation of the vocabulary as a function of the game situation. A distinctive feature is the use of the foot switch and speech recognition, the processes of which remain concealed to the players. The identification rate for the speech recognition is increased by the fact that the vocabulary in question is a function of the particular phase of the game. Furthermore, errors are largely prevented as a result of the assistance to the dealer provided by the computing unit.
  • The optical detection device for the present system is preferably situated beneath the table. The optical detection device includes at least one image recognition device, in particular a scanner, a camera, or the like. Depending on the size of the table and the technical embodiment, one or more optical detection devices may be provided beneath the table for recording the course of the game. In one preferred variant of the invention, an optical detection device is associated with each player position.
  • The optically detected region of each player position preferably corresponds to the area in which the player typically places his cards, and is also large enough that multiple cards may be detected at the same time. A marker and/or contact edge for each playing card to be placed face down is preferably associated with each player position in order to simplify optical detection. In particular, provision of a contact edge, for example in the form of at least one guide track, may facilitate correct placement of the cards. According to one preferred embodiment of the invention which is particularly suited for “Texas Hold 'em,” a placement area for two playing cards is provided for each player position. In this case the placement edges may be provided in the form of a letter “E” lying on its side, with the long edge facing the player. By use of such auxiliary devices the cards may be easily placed in a precise position, and it is thus necessary to optically detect only a relatively small region. This saves time and conserves storage capacity, and requires hardly any additional attention on the part of the players.
  • In a further advantageous embodiment variant these card holders are provided with covers on top, so that the cards in each case must be inserted into one of two parallel slots. As a result of the closed top sides, the cards may be effectively prevented from slipping and, for example, sliding out of the pocket-shaped placement area or coming to rest in a distorted orientation which would interfere with reliable optical detection of the card values. The holders, which are open on one side, are preferably dimensioned in such a way that each of the cards projects by at least the width of a finger, thus allowing them to be easily removed from the holders.
  • The card placement area has at least one transparent surface which allows optical detection of the placed cards from below. The transparent surface may, for example, be made of glass, plastic, film, or the like. A separate transparent surface is preferably provided for each card to be placed. It is not necessary for the dimensions of the transparent surface to match those of the playing cards to be scanned; it is sufficient if a maximum of 60% of a card is visible through the surface. To prevent reflection of the cards on the transparent surface and to deter the player from looking into the detection device, instead of having a clear transparent design the surface may have a colored, preferably green, tint (semitransparent design).
  • Deflector devices may be provided beneath the respective card positions, which in each case are identified and specified by markers. Such a deflector device is used to deflect the optical beam path away from and toward a position of the image recording device. In this manner the image recording device may be accommodated in a flexible position, and in particular may be situated near the lower table surface. This allows a flat orientation of the detection system beneath the table, so that the detection system does not further interfere with the players, and foot room is maintained. The deflector device may include at least one reflector surface, a mirror, and/or an at least partially transparent prism or the like.
  • To obtain a better image, a light source connected to the optical detection device for illumination of the card images to be detected by the detection device may also be associated with each player position. Alternatively, fewer light sources may also be provided beneath the table, or the number of available light sources may be matched to the number of optical detection devices used, or may be correlated with same.
  • The lighting units are preferably switched on and off automatically. As long as cards are not placed over a detection device, ambient light strikes the detection device and is recognized by same, and the associated lighting unit or units is/are switched off. When the support surface is covered by cards, the detection device switches on one or more lighting units associated with it in order to subsequently scan the cards. The lighting units are then preferably switched off again. Use is made of ambient light in the described manner to determine the optimal time for a scanning operation.
  • The deflector device, light source, and optical detection device may all be provided inside a closed housing element. In particular, each player position may be provided with such a housing element.
  • The sequence for recording a poker game using a system according to the present invention is briefly described below.
  • An optical detection device which includes a scanner or a surface camera, for example, is mounted in the table in front of each player. By use of this image recording device the cards (pocket cards) of each player are detected, for example scanned. At any given time in the game, but before the cards are turned over or discarded by the player, the player must place his cards on the support surface, also referred to as the scanner surface. The scanner surface is mounted at the location where the player is normally required to place his cards, and is large enough that both cards may be placed side by side. Guide strips assist with the correct placement of the cards over the detection device. The image recording device together with a deflector device and a lighting unit are preferably accommodated in a flat housing which is mounted beneath the game table at each player position. The playing cards are detected through a transparent surface in the playing area.
  • The detection device is linked to an evaluation unit. The evaluation unit preferably sends data for optical and/or acoustic playback of each current game state.
  • All game plays and cards identified by the evaluation unit are stored and provided with a time stamp. In this manner, for a subsequent evaluation or playback of the game it is possible not only to associate the game plays with a player, but also to reproduce the course of the game over time. The game is played back, for example, by downloading the game data or by connecting a monitor to the table. To ensure game security, the playback may be limited to games which have already been played and completed. As the result of fully recording the game plays and providing the game plays with a time stamp, the subsequent synchronization with film material which may be present is particularly simple. In this manner the editing effort for preparation for television broadcasts or Internet postings of the games is minimized.
  • EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT
  • The invention is explained in greater detail below on the basis of preferred exemplary embodiments, with reference to the accompanying drawings. Identical parts in the figures are basically denoted by the same reference numerals, and in some cases therefore are not described more than once.
  • FIG. 1 shows a top view of a game table according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 shows a top view of an optical detection device according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 shows a perspective illustration of one embodiment variant of a card holder for precise placement of the playing cards on the game table;
  • FIG. 4 shows a further perspective illustration of the underside of the card holder;
  • FIG. 5 shows a sectional illustration of an optical detection device according to FIG. 2;
  • FIG. 6 shows a sectional illustration of a game table in the region of a player position;
  • FIG. 7 shows a top view of a game table in the region of a player position; and
  • FIG. 8 shows a perspective illustration of an optical detection device according to the invention.
  • The subject matter of the present utility model is a game table 10 for the automatic recording and evaluation of card games in which both face-up and face-down cards as well as game chips or points are used. The game table 10 is primarily designed for card games which are typically moderated by a dealer. The table described here is optimized for poker games of the “Texas Hold 'em” variant, which is currently the most frequently played poker variant. This variant is usually played with up to ten players and a dealer.
  • The schematic illustration of FIG. 1 shows a top view of a game table 10 according to the present invention. The table 10 used in the present invention basically corresponds to a poker table as it is customarily used: the table is divided into ten positions for the players (player positions 12), and there is a specially designated position 14 for the dealer. The table 10 includes an evaluation unit 20. This evaluation unit is a standard office computer 21, for example, for the recording and evaluation software, and is preferably housed beneath the table 10 in a table leg 11. The computer 21 is equipped with a WLAN in order to run data on the computer or to retrieve results.
  • Two control lights (not illustrated) are situated in front of each player. A headset and two foot switches (not illustrated) are optionally situated at position 14 of the dealer (“D”). According to one alternative embodiment variant, an input device 15 such as a computer keyboard, for example, a pointer device (a computer mouse, for example), and/or a touchscreen may also optionally be placed at the dealer's position. These input devices 15 may also optionally be combined with the speech input.
  • Each player position 12 has an optical detection device 30. This optical detection device is mounted in front of each player, beneath the playing surface of the table 10, and is explained in greater detail below with reference to FIGS. 4, 5, and 8; the configuration of the detection device 30 is explained in FIGS. 6 and 7. Each figure is not individually described in detail.
  • By use of the detection device 30 the cards (pocket cards) of each player sitting in front of same are detected; at any given time in the game, but before the cards are turned over or discarded by the player, the player must place these cards on the designated placement surfaces 40.
  • The placement surfaces 40 are situated at the location where the player is normally required to place his cards; therefore, the player does not need to adopt new habits. The placement surfaces 40 are large enough that multiple cards, in the illustrated example two cards, may be placed side by side and detected. The placed cards are optically detected through transparent surfaces 44. These surfaces preferably have a green color so as not to distract the players, and to deter the players from looking into the detection device 30. In particular, reflection of the cards on the transparent surface is also prevented in this manner. The dimensions of the transparent surfaces do not have to match those of the playing cards to be scanned. A maximum of 60% of a card must be visible through the surface in order to properly classify the card.
  • In the sense of the present invention, the surface to be detected is as small as possible in order to save time and conserve storage capacity. Therefore, it is important that the playing cards are placed as precisely as possible on the small detection surface 44. According to the embodiment variant shown in FIG. 2, guide strips 42 which are positioned on the table 10 and which facilitate the correct placement of the cards over the detection device 30 are provided as aids for the player. An armrest 16 additionally situated in the region of the card placement surface 40 provides the player with a comfortable sitting and playing position.
  • Since the correct placement of the cards over the detection device is extremely important for proper functioning of the optical detection, in one refined embodiment variant according FIGS. 3 and 4 card holders 50 are provided on the table 10 as aids; these card holders 50 greatly facilitate the correct placement of the cards over the detection device 30, and essentially prevent incorrect placement.
  • The card holders 50 illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 are used in each case to hold two parallel adjacent playing cards above the optical detection devices. FIG. 3 shows a perspective illustration of the top side of the card holder 50 for exact placement of the playing cards on the game table, and FIG. 4 shows in a further perspective illustration the underside of the card holder 50.
  • Each of the card holders 50 is used to hold adjacent two playing cards (not illustrated), which are situated in parallel at their narrow edges and separated from one another by the middle web 52. The web 52 is part of the E-shaped frame 54, the base of which forms a stop for the playing cards when inserted into the open sides. The length of the legs 56 of the E-shaped frame 54 should approximately correspond to the length of the playing cards, since excessive length of the legs 56 could impair manipulation of the cards. The location and positioning of the card holder 50 on the game table is determined by the positions of the optical detection devices, so that after being inserted into the card holder 50 each playing card comes to rest precisely in the correct position, thus allowing the card value to be automatically detected by the optical detection device situated beneath the table. The playing cards rest on optically transparent surfaces which are embedded in the table surface.
  • To prevent the cards from sliding out of the desired detection positions, for example due to inadvertent contact or because they do not lie flat on the table, the card holder 50 has an upper cover plate 58 which is dimensioned so that it covers the frame 54 on the top. The cover plate 58 preferably does not extend completely over all three parallel legs of the 56 E-shaped frame 54, thus allowing the playing cards to be easily detected and to be removed from the card holder 50 after being fully inserted.
  • As further shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, each of the legs 56 has an inward taper or bevel on its front side facing the corresponding card receptacle, thereby facilitating manual insertion of the card and providing better guiding of the playing card during insertion.
  • The optical detection device 30 is composed of a housing 32 which is mounted beneath the game table 10 for each player (see FIG. 6). The housing 32 contains a deflector device 34 in the form of a mirror 35, an image recording device 36 in the form of a surface camera 37 for digitizing the playing cards, and a lighting unit (light source) 38 (see FIG. 5). Use of a mirror 35 as the deflector device 34 primarily serves to reduce the depth of the housing so that foot room for the players is not greatly limited. This is particularly evident in FIG. 6.
  • The lighting unit 38 may be switched on and off automatically. If no cards are placed on the card placement surface 40, this is recognized by the optical detection device 30 on the basis of the incident ambient light. Only when a support surface 44 is covered by the cards does the detection device 30 send a signal to switch on its associated lighting unit 38 in order to subsequently scan the cards. The lighting unit 38 is switched off immediately when the scanning operation is completed. In this manner use is made of ambient light for determining the optimal time for a scanning operation.
  • Further features and advantages of the system according to the invention:
  • Speech Recognition
  • A connection for a headset or a receiver for a headset may be provided at the seat position 14 of the dealer; one or two foot switches (not illustrated) may likewise be present at the dealer's position. Alternatively or additionally, extra input devices 15 may be provided, as mentioned above.
  • The dealer conducts the game in an accustomed manner. In card games having a dealer, the dealer is required anyway to clearly repeat all game plays as well as antes and cards in order to avoid misunderstandings, for example concerning the amount of the ante made between the players. The dealer thus functions as a moderator for the game. By means of the headset and foot switch and/or his input devices 15 the dealer is also connected with the evaluation unit 20. An integrated speech recognition system evaluates the dealer's spoken comments on the progress of the game. The dealer must actuate the foot switch for each comment which relates to the game as such. This prevents a conversation between the dealer and a player from being misinterpreted as a game play. The second foot switch is used for correction of incorrect inputs. Via the headset the evaluation unit 20 informs only the dealer, in the form of speech, concerning the current status of the game. The evaluation unit 20 first repeats the input provided by the dealer, and then repeats the resulting outcome. In poker it is possible, for example, to bet everything in one hand (“all in”). When the dealer inputs this information to the evaluation unit 20, the evaluation unit instantaneously determines the amount of the ante, and the minimum bid which the next player must make. Since the evaluation unit 20 has a complete overview of the game situation via the speech input, it is able to assist the dealer at any time by means of speech output. The vocabulary which the evaluation unit 20 recognizes is greatly dependent on the phase of the game at a particular time. If a game play is not permitted in a given phase, the associated speech term is not present in the list of comments which may be recognized by the evaluation unit 20 at that particular moment. The efficiency of recognition of the speech input is significantly improved by this strict limitation of the vocabulary as a function of the game situation. A distinctive feature is the use of the foot switch and speech recognition. In this manner the processes remain concealed to the players. Another prominent feature is the limitation of the vocabulary as a function of the particular phase of the game, thereby ensuring higher recognition efficiency.
  • Furthermore, errors by the dealer are prevented as a result of the assistance to the dealer provided by the evaluation unit 20.
  • Besides conducting the game acoustically as mentioned, other input variants are of course possible, as previously described.
  • Real-Time Playback
  • All game plays and cards identified by the table are stored and provided with a time stamp. In this manner, for a subsequent evaluation or playback of the game it is possible not only to associate the game plays with a player, but also to reproduce the course of the game over time. The game is played back, for example, by downloading the game data or by connecting a monitor to the table. To ensure game security, the playback may be limited to games which have already been played and completed. As the result of fully recording the game plays and providing the game plays with a time stamp, the subsequent synchronization with film material which may be present is particularly simple. In this manner the editing effort for preparation for television broadcasts or Internet postings of the games is minimized.
  • Previously known systems for automatic recording and/or evaluation of card games require either that specially marked cards and specially marked game chips be used, or that the actual customary game operation be drastically adapted to the technology that is used. In addition, most systems record only the result, not the actual course of the game which has led to this result.
  • The system provided herein avoids the above-referenced disadvantages. Standard cards and chips may be used. Furthermore, it is not necessary to modify the course of the game. Only one additional procedure is required of the players; otherwise, the process of recording and evaluating the game is fully invisible and undetectable to the players.
  • The features of the invention disclosed in the preceding description, the drawings, and the claims, when used alone as well as in any given combination, may be important for implementing the invention in its various embodiments. The invention is not limited to the preceding exemplary embodiments. Rather, numerous variants and modifications are conceivable which make use of the inventive concept and which therefore likewise fall within the scope of protection.
  • LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS
    • 10 Game table
    • 11 Table leg
    • 12 Player position
    • 14 Position of the dealer
    • 15 Input device
    • 16 Armrest
    • 20 Evaluation unit
    • 21 Computer
    • 30 Optical detection device
    • 32 Housing
    • 34 Deflector device
    • 35 Mirror
    • 36 Image recording device
    • 37 Surface camera
    • 38 Lighting unit
    • 40 Card placement surface
    • 42 Contact edge/guide strip
    • 44 Transparent surface
    • 50 Card holder
    • 52 Web
    • 54 Frame
    • 56 Leg
    • 58 Cover plate

Claims (16)

  1. 1. System for detecting, storing, and visualizing game plays, events, and operations in card games, having a game table (10) which is transparent at least in places or is partially transparent, and which has positions for at least two players, and has an optical detection device (30) provided underneath for detecting images of face-down playing cards, having an evaluation unit (20) subsequent to the optical detection device (30) for automatically identifying, storing, and/or processing the card values, and having an input and/or detection device (15) for recording game plays such as the dealing of card values by a moderator, placing bids of monetary or value amounts by individual players, etc., the input or detection device (15) being linked to the evaluation unit (20).
  2. 2. System according to claim 1, wherein the input and detection device includes a speech identification and/or recognition system for recording and identifying announcements by the moderator.
  3. 3. System according to claim 2, wherein the input and detection device includes at least one hand and/or foot switch for temporary activation of the speech identification and/or recognition system for the moderator.
  4. 4. System according to claim 1, wherein the input and detection device (15) is provided for manual input by the moderator at a computer workstation equipped with a monitor, and is linked to the evaluation unit (20).
  5. 5. System according to claim 4, wherein the input and detection device (15) includes a pointer device and/or a keyboard and/or a touchscreen for entry and recording of the relevant game and/or card data by the moderator.
  6. 6. System according to claim 1, wherein the optical detection device (30) is situated beneath the table (10) and includes at least one image recognition device (36), in particular a scanner, a camera (37), or the like.
  7. 7. System according to claim 6, wherein a marker and/or contact edge (42) for each playing card to be placed face down is associated with each player position.
  8. 8. System according to claim 6, wherein an optical detection device (30) which includes at least one image recording device (36) is associated with each player position.
  9. 9. System according to claim 6, wherein a light source (38) connected to the image recording device (36) for illumination of the card images to be detected by the detection device (30) is associated with each player position.
  10. 10. System according to claim 6, wherein a deflector device (34) is provided beneath the card positions, near the lower table surface, in order to deflect the optical beam path away from and toward a position of the optical detection device (30).
  11. 11. System according to claim 10, wherein the deflector device (34) includes at least one reflector surface (35) and/or an at least partially transparent prism or the like.
  12. 12. System according to claim 6, wherein the deflector device (34), light source (38), and image recording device (36) are provided for each player position, inside a closed housing element (32).
  13. 13. System according to claim 1, wherein the evaluation unit sends data for optical and/or acoustic playback of each current game state.
  14. 14. Method for detecting, storing, and visualizing game plays, events, and operations, in particular in card games, using a game table (10) which is transparent at least in places or is partially transparent, and which has positions for at least two players, in which the images and card values of face-down playing cards are detected by an optical detection device (30) provided beneath the game table, and are automatically identified, stored, and/or processed by an evaluation unit (20) subsequent to the optical detection device (30), and having an input and/or detection device (15) for recording game plays such as the dealing of card values by a moderator, placing bids of monetary or value amounts by individual players, etc., the input or detection device (15) which is linked to the evaluation unit (20) allowing an acoustic, i.e., spoken, and/or manual input by the moderator to a computer workstation equipped with a monitor.
  15. 15. Method according to claim 14, wherein the moderator communicates the relevant game and/or card data to the input or detection device (15) by means of a pointer device and/or a keyboard and/or a touchscreen.
  16. 16. Method according to claim 14, wherein the moderator communicates, via a microphone and a subsequent speech recognition and processing system, the relevant game and/or card data to the input or detection device, which sends the data to the evaluation unit (20).
US12220424 2007-01-12 2008-07-24 Device and method for determining and/or visualising of moves, steps and processes of card plays Abandoned US20090062003A1 (en)

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Citations (6)

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US4856787A (en) * 1986-02-05 1989-08-15 Yuri Itkis Concurrent game network
US5397133A (en) * 1993-09-30 1995-03-14 At&T Corp. System for playing card games remotely
US5451054A (en) * 1994-05-03 1995-09-19 Toy Builders Poker tournament
US20070087843A1 (en) * 2005-09-09 2007-04-19 Steil Rolland N Game phase detector
US20070111773A1 (en) * 2005-11-15 2007-05-17 Tangam Technologies Inc. Automated tracking of playing cards
US7364162B2 (en) * 2005-09-19 2008-04-29 New Poker Championships, Llc Poker-type card game method

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE102007035156A1 (en) 2007-01-12 2008-07-17 Uwe Kerscher Card-game system for recording, storing and visualizing moves, playing processes and game flow, especially in card-games, has a playing table with an optical recording device fitted underneath

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4856787A (en) * 1986-02-05 1989-08-15 Yuri Itkis Concurrent game network
US4856787B1 (en) * 1986-02-05 1997-09-23 Fortunet Inc Concurrent game network
US5397133A (en) * 1993-09-30 1995-03-14 At&T Corp. System for playing card games remotely
US5451054A (en) * 1994-05-03 1995-09-19 Toy Builders Poker tournament
US20070087843A1 (en) * 2005-09-09 2007-04-19 Steil Rolland N Game phase detector
US7364162B2 (en) * 2005-09-19 2008-04-29 New Poker Championships, Llc Poker-type card game method
US20070111773A1 (en) * 2005-11-15 2007-05-17 Tangam Technologies Inc. Automated tracking of playing cards

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