US3899178A - Automatic game block shuffling, aligning and table top arraying machine - Google Patents

Automatic game block shuffling, aligning and table top arraying machine Download PDF

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US3899178A
US3899178A US46304374A US3899178A US 3899178 A US3899178 A US 3899178A US 46304374 A US46304374 A US 46304374A US 3899178 A US3899178 A US 3899178A
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blocks
game
table
game blocks
transport
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Hideo Watanabe
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Hideo Watanabe
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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
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/28Chain-reaction games with toppling pieces; Dispensers or positioning devices therefor
    • 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
    • A63F9/20Dominoes or like games; Mah-Jongg games
    • A63F2009/205Mah-jongg games

Abstract

An automatic shuffling, aligning and arraying mechanical device employing mah-jongg blocks and other game blocks having the same shape as mah-jongg blocks but used for other games. The device comprises the following mechanisms: 1. A GAME BLOCK THROWN-IN MECHANISM INCORPORATED IN THE GAME TABLE; 2. AN ORIENTATION MECHANISM FOR RECEIVING THE THROWN-IN GAME BLOCKS, SHUFFLING THEM, AND BRINGING THEM INTO A UNIFORM ATTITUDE AS TO THE LONGITUDINAL, LATERAL, AS WELL AS HEADTAIL DIRECTIONS; 3. AN ALIGNING MECHANISM FOR ALIGNING ORIENTED GAME BLOCKS IN UNITS OF PREDETERMINED NUMBERS IN A UNIFIED ATTITUDE; 4. AN ARRAYING MECHANISM FOR ARRAYING THE ALIGNED GAME BLOCKS UNDER THE TABLE INTO THE FORMATION IDENTICAL OR SIMILAR TO THE FORMATION SUITED TO START A GAME; AND 5. A MOUNTING MECHANISM FOR LIFTING THE ARRAYED GAME BLOCKS AND MOUNTING THEM ON THE TABLE IN THE FORMATION FOR A GAME. Two sets of discriminating game blocks are employed, of which one set is held in readiness arrayed underneath the table while the other set is being used in a game over the table. As soon as the game is completed the set of game blocks that completed the game are thrown into the space underneath the table, and then, the set of game blocks having been held in readiness are lifted and mounted on the table for immediate game commencement.

Description

United States Patent 1 Watanabe 1 Aug. 12, 1975 AUTOMATIC GAME BLOCK SHUFFLING,

ALIGNING AND TABLE TOP ARRAYING MACHINE Hideo Watanabe, 3-2-17, Daiei-cho, Shibata-shi, Niigata-ken, Japan [22] Filed: Apr. 22, 1974 [21] Appl. No; 463,043

[76] Inventor:

[52] US. Cl 273/136 A; 273/144 A; 273/149 R;

Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle [57] ABSTRACT An automatic shuffling, aligning and arraying mechanical device employing mah-jongg blocks and other game blocks having the same shape as mah-jongg blocks but used for other games.

The device comprises the following mechanisms:

1. a game block thrown-in mechanism incorporated in the game table;

2. an orientation mechanism for receiving the thrown-in game blocks, shuffling them, and bringing them into a uniform attitude as to the longitudinal, lateral, as well as headtail directions;

3. an aligning mechanism for aligning oriented game blocks in units of predetermined numbers in a unified attitude;

4. an arraying mechanism for arraying the aligned game blocks under the table into the formation identical or similar to the formation suited to start a game; and

5. a mounting mechanism for lifting the arrayed game blocks and mounting them on the table in the formation for a game.

Two sets of discriminating game blocks are employed, of which one set is held in readiness arrayed underneath the table while the other set is being used in a game over the table. As soon as the game is completed the set of game blocks that completed the game are thrown into the space underneath the table, and then, the set of game blocks having been held in readiness are lifted and mounted on the table for immediate game commencement.

27 Claims, 109 Drawing Figures PATENTEU AUEI 2197s SHEET PATENTEI] AUB1 21975 sum 3 T 5 B 5 15 1O 9 7 13 T 5 5 1s 20 v9 21 15 9 PATENTED AUG] ZISYS PATENTEB AUG] 2 I975 SHEET PATENTEU M181 2 i975 SHEET 1Q llu I Illlllllllllllhw PATENTEI] AUG] 2 1975 SHEET .W\ A, v u M -U K LL: \\\m E PATENTEDAUEIZIQYS 7 3,899,178

SHEET 15 PATENTEU Anni 2x915 ill PATENTED AUG] 21975 SHEET PATENTED AUG1 2 I975 SHEET

Claims (27)

1. An automatic shuffling anD table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games characterized as a game block arraying machine utilizing two sets of Mah-Jongg game blocks and other game blocks having the same shape as Mah-Jongg game blocks, which comprises: a. game blocks that allow their head side and tail side to be automatically discriminated; b. a throw-in mechanism for throwing said game blocks into an orientation mechanism after a game is over; c. the orientation mechanism for receiving said game blocks, shuffling them, arranging them in uniform orientation as to their longitudinal, lateral as well as head-tail attitudes, and guiding them out towards the next mechanism; d. an aligning mechanism for aliging said guided-out game blocks into such an attitude that is determined by the mounting mechanism, and aligning them in units of such numbers that are determined by the nature of the game for which the game blocks are intended; e. an arraying mechanism for arraying said aligned game blocks into a formation identical with or similar to the formation in which the game using these game blocks is to be started, underneath the table; and f. a mounting mechanism for lifting said arrayed game blocks and mounting them on the table top in the formation suited for starting the game.
2. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said throw-in mechanism comprises a throw-in opening provided in the center of the table and a central lid so removably positioned in said throw-in opening that upon the completion of a game it is removed from said throw-in opening to allow the game blocks to be thrown-in therethrough, and that after having thrown-in all the game blocks therethrough, said central lid is positioned in said throw-in opening to form a flush surface with the table top.
3. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said throw-in mechanism comprises a wiper extending from one side of the table to the opposite side over the table, and supported at both ends by one each truck; one each rail installed at those two sides of the table on which the two ends of said wiper lies, and carrying said one each truck on it to allow said trucks a freedom of movement along its length; a chain removably connected to said trucks; a motor for pulling said chain along said rails; and an opening provided where said wiper arrives after travelling over the table being driven by said motor; whereby said wiper is adapted to shove all the game blocks on the table towards one side thereof to throw them into said opening after the completion of a game.
4. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said orientation mechanism comprises a parts feeder for guiding out said game blocks in a longitudinally unified orientation; and a curved bottom portion formed at the lead-out end of the guide-out chute of said parts feeder; whereby said game blocks having their center of gravity offset either to their head side face or tail side face are oriented uniformly as to their longitudinal, lateral, as well as head-tail attitudes.
5. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said game blocks have a weight embedded within the material thereof so offset either towards the head side face or towards the tail side face that the center of gravity of these game blocks is offset either towards the head side face or towards the tail side face respectively.
6. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor gameS as claimed in claim 1 wherein said game blocks have a hollow cavity made thereinside so offset either towards the head side face or towards the tail side face that the center of gravity of these game blocks is offset either towards the tail side face or towards the head side face respectively.
7. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said orientation mechanism comprises a parts feeder for guiding out said game blocks in a longitudinally unified orientation; a cylinder connected to the lead-out end of the guide chute of said parts feeder; and a pair of magnet pieces of opposite polarities so installed as to give a magnetic field having its axis disposed vertically across said cylinder; whereby said game blocks carrying in their interior a magnet piece having its one pole towards one face side and its opposite pole towards the other face side are oriented in a unified orientation as to their longitudinal, as well as head-tail attitudes.
8. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said game blocks carry in their interior a magnet piece having its one pole towards one face side and its opposite pole towards the other face side so as to give opposite magnetic polarities to the two faces of these game blocks.
9. Au automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 7 wherein said game blocks have on their either head side face or the tail side face a longitudinally running groove that fits over a rail provided in the guide chute of the built-in parts feeder with proper sliding clearance.
10. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said orientation mechanism comprises: a barrel having an opening at one side thereof, rotatably supported by a horizontal shaft rod fixed thereto; a shield plate for closing said opening at a small clearance, having through windows adapted to lead in and lead out game blocks respectively; a plurality of grooves formed at uniform intervals successively on the inside periphery of said barrel adapted to receive longitudinally oriented game blocks; one each magnet piece installed at the bottom of each of said grooves; one each separation plate covering said magnet pieces inside said grooves; one each push plate disposed outside the barrel so connected to each of said separation plate by means of connecting means that said separation plates are appropriately biased towards the magnet pieces; a solenoid adapted to push the push plate which is brought to the barrel top position downward so as to separate that separation plate connected to the push plate from its relevant magnet pieces: a means for intermittently driving said barrel in a manner that each intermittent motion covers a pitch of said push plates; a belt conveyor having its end disposed through said through opening in said shield plate and being adapted to introduce said thrown-in game blocks into said barrel; and another belt conveyor one end of which is similarly introduced inside said barrel to be disposed directly underneath the groove located at the barrel top, said conveyor being adapted to guide out the oriented game blocks; whereby said game blocks carrying a magnet sensitive piece embedded in their inside offset towards either the head side face or the tail side face are oriented as to their longitudinal, lateral, as well as head and tail attitudes by means of the selective acceptance of the grooves and the selective attractive force of the magnets when they arrive near the barrel top, and said game blocks thus arriving in a uniform orientation at the barrel top are separated from said magnets by the motion of said solenoId and finally said separated game blocks are dropped on said belt conveyor which guides out said dropped game blocks.
11. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said orientation mechanism comprises: a horizontally disposed barrel with an opening formed at one side thereof; a shaft rod fixedly penetrating said barrel at its center and rotatably supported by a support bracket; a motor connected to said shaft rod to drive said barrel in rotation; a drop prevention plate closing said barrel opening with a small clearance and being provided with a guide-in opening serving to introduce said game blocks into said barrel; a belt conveyor having its end introduced into said barrel through said guide-in opening and serving to introduce said game blocks into said barrel; a plurality of grooves formed at uniform intervals successively on the inside periphery of said barrel adapted to receive said game blocks in the longitudinal attitude; one each magnet piece installed at the bottom of each of said grooves; a barrel side wall having a plurality of through pass windows adapted to let said game blocks to pass through in their longitudinal attitude, and located one each at the position corresponding to each end of each of said grooves; a rotating body fixed on the outside of said side plate and having its periphery coinciding with the inscribed circle of said plurality of through pass windows; a plurality of guide pieces attached on the periphery of said rotating body each positioned at each two parallel sides of each of said through pass windows; one each slot opening made through the bottom of each of said grooves penetrating from the groove bottom to the barrel outside and running almost through the whole length of said grooves; one each pin slidably inserted in each of said slots, said pin extending to the outside periphery of said barrel, and carrying a roller at that extending end thereby said roller serving to retain said pin in the groove; one each push block attached to each inner end of said pins, and slidably inserted inside each of said grooves in the barrel; a drum cam enclosing said barrel with a close clearance and being fixed to a support bracket; a cam groove formed on the inside periphery of said drum cam in a loop form near the barrel opening side for accepting said pin rollers; and advance cam groove portion and a return cam groove portion formed as two integral portions of said cam groove but projecting towards the rotating body; a plurality of bypass cam grooves connecting the corresponding division points on said advance cam groove portion and said return groove portion, said division points dividing said advance cam groove portion and said return cam groove portion into sections of equal interval corresponding approximately to the length of said game blocks; one each guide plate for openably closing said bypass cam grooves under an elastic force and installed at each branching point of the advance cam groove portion into each of said bypass cam grooves; a recessed portion provided on the outside of said drum cam corresponding to where said guide plates are installed, enabling said rollers passing through the advance cam groove to be so exposed as to be able to engage with said guide plates; and a chute having its starting end brought in contact with the outside periphery of said rotating body; whereby said game blocks are arranged in a uniform orientation as the barrel is continuously rotated.
12. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein the game blocks incorporate a magnet sensitive piece embedded in their body, either near their head side face or their tail side face.
13. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games aS claimed in claim 1 wherein the orientation mechanism comprises: a belt conveyor vertically disposed and equipped on the outside with a plurality of successively attached and horizontally disposed guide plates which are nearly equal in their width to the lateral width of said Mah-Jongg game blocks and other game blocks having identical shape to Mah-Jongg game blocks, and with a plurality of successively attached and horizontally disposed cylinders of a sufficient ID for containing said game blocks longitudinally; a plurality of said guide plates successively attached to said belt conveyor with their longitudinal planes slightly downwardly inclined with respect to the horizontal line at intervals slightly wider than the longitudinal length of said game blocks but narrower than the longitudinal length of said game blocks; a plurality of cylinders similarly attached to said belt conveyor one each connected to the downward end of one each of said guide plates at the same downward inclination as said guide plates; a case for enclosing said belt conveyor with sufficient clearance, said case having a guide-in opening at one side of its guide plate region and having its guide-out opening at one or more position within the moving range of the descending ends of said cylinders; and a means for driving said belt conveyor; whereby as the belt conveyor is continuously driven, said game blocks are caught by said guide plates with their longitudinal as well as lateral directions uniformly oriented, and then said game blocks having their center of gravity offset either towards their head side face or towards their tail side face are oriented uniformly as to their head side face and tail side face as they slide down inside said cylinders.
14. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said aligning mechanism comprises: two transport plates vertically disposed with a proper space therebetween equal to the thickness of the game blocks so as to receive game blocks with their longitudinal axis directed vertically; a mounting base horizontally disposed underneath said transport plates for carrying the game blocks that are accepted between said transport plates; an arm rod fixedly carrying said two transport plates at the end portion thereof and connected to solenoids at the base end thereof; and solenoids for driving said transport plates forward and backward via said arm rod in the horizontal direction over a stroke which corresponds to the thickness of the game block; whereby when one game blocks is accepted between said two transport plates, with its longitudinal axis in the vertical direction, said accepted game block is pushed back, allowing the next game block to land where said accepted game block has been, in a similar attitude, with the result that two game blocks are aligned upright in a two-row alignment.
15. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said aligning mechanism comprises: two oppositely disposed upright side walls disposed with the distance therebetween adapted to receive one game block with its longitudinal axis directed upright; and a mounting base disposed horizontally underneath the lower end of said side walls for supporting on it the game block that is received between said walls; whereby one game block is aligned with its longitudinal axis upright in one row alignment.
16. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said aligning mechanism comprises: a chute connected to the orientation mechanism in a downward inclination for guiding out uniformly oriented game blocks; a mounting base disposed underneath the discharge end of said chute at a downward distance from said chute end corresponding to the thicKness of one game block; and two side walls installed on both sides of said mounting base, one side corresponding to the edge line of the discharge end of said chute, and the other side at a distance from said edge line corresponding to the longitudinal length of one game block, these two side walls being adapted to accept two blocks stacked one above the other with their longitudinal axes horizontally disposed; whereby after the first game block is accepted in the space between said two side walls with its longitudinal axis disposed horizontally, the immediately following game block is accepted upon the first accepted game block in the same attitude, with the result that two game blocks are aligned in a two-course stacked alignment with their longitudinal axes directed horizontally.
17. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said aligning mechanism comprises: a chute connected to the orientation mechanism in a downward inclination for guiding out uniformly oriented game blocks; a mounting base connected at the discharge end of said chute flush with said end of the chute; and a side wall disposed in confrontation with said end of the chute at a distance from said end of the chute corresponding to the longitudinal length of one game block; whereby one game block is mounted on said mounting base with its longitudinal axis directed horizontally, with the result that this one game block is aligned with its longitudinal axis directed horizontally in one course-course alignment.
18. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said arraying mechanism comprises: (a) four transport passages disposed underneath the table one each at each of four sides of a square formation with their adjoining ends disposed at a predetermined distance, said four transport passages serving as the transport passages for said game blocks during their arraying process, and serving as the mounting platforms for keeping the game blocks ready after said arraying process is over, with said aligning mechanism connected to one end of one of said four; (b) a push-in mechanism comprising; a push plate disposed in front of the end of one of said transport passages to which said aligning mechanism is connected, across said aligning mechanism on the opposite side from said transport passage, said push plate serving to successively push those game blocks that have been aligned in units into said transport passage unit by unit; and a means for driving said push plate in a reciprocating pushing motion through a moving stroke corresponding to the lateral width of one game block; and (c) intermediary transport mechanisms one each disposed at each of those three junctions among the four junctions between the two adjoining transport passages where said aligning mechanism and said push-in mechanism are not provided, each one of which comprising; two buckets horizontally disposed with their bucket opening facing the respective ends of the two transport passages adjoining at right angle; two buckets vertically disposed on a vertical plane passing through the middle point between said two horizontally disposed buckets with their bucket openings out-facingly disposed equidistance from the middle point as the distance of said horizontal two buckets from their middle point; a horizontal shaft rod disposed at center of said four buckets, fixedly carrying these four buckets at its end and being so rotatably supported that these four buckets are rotatable in a vertical plane; and a means for driving said horizontal shaft rod intermittently so as to always bring two each bucket in the edge-to-edge adjacent position with the respective end edge line of the transport passages; whereby the foremost game block(s) being pushed through said transport passage is pushed into one of said buckets and said bucket accepting said game block(s) in it is brought to a position adjacent to the starting end edge of the next transport passage through its swivelling motion; and said one each intermediary transport mechanism further comprising a push-in mechanism including a push plate disposed at the rear of said bucket that has been brought adjacent to the starting edge of the next transport passage, and adapted to push through the bucket to push those game blocks that have been brought there into said next transport passage; and a means of driving said push plate through a reciprocating push motion covering a stroke corresponding to the lateral width of one game block; whereby in said arraying mechanism comprising said mechanisms (a), (b) and (c) the push-in mechanisms and the intermediary transport mechanism are so connected by means of a connecting means that while these push plates are in motion, all the buckets are held stationary, and while these buckets are all in a swivel motion, all the push plates are held stationary, with the result that the game blocks are arrayed on these four transport passages in a formation identical or nearly identical to the one for starting a game on the table.
19. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 18 wherein each of said intermediary transport mechanisms in said arraying mechanism comprises: a sliding base disposed at each of those three junctions among the four junctions between each two of said four rectangularly adjoining, appropriately spaced, and generally squarely arrayed transport passages where said pushin mechanism is not provided, with its top surface flush with said transport passages and its edges in a edge-to-edge adjacent relationship with each end edge line of the two transport passages adjoining at right angle; a shaft rod disposed at the middle point between the two edges of the two adjacent transport passages, piercing said sliding base vertically with a sliding clearance, and being rotatably supported; a turning body fixed at the top of said shaft rod and adapted to reciprocatingly swivel on said sliding base between the two adjacent ends of the two transport passages; a game block clamping plate horizontally slidably and elastically supported by said turning body with a sliding clearance; an interference avoidance piece support portion of said block clamping plate disposed at a distance equal to the thickness of one or two game blocks from the forward end of said turning body with the space between itself and said forward end of said turning body being positioned at the end of the transport passage; and a means for driving said shaft rod that supports said turning body through a 90* reciprocating angular motion; whereby the game blocks pushed through said transport passage are received and clamped between said space between said turning body and said interferance avoidance piece support portion, and then are horizontally transported to the position adjacent to the end of the next transport passage as the result of a swivelling motion of said turning body; and said intermediary transport mechanism further comprises a push rod disposed behind the position assumed by said space between said turning body and said interference avoidance piece support portion after the completion of said horizontal motion adapted to push said game blocks immediately after said horizontal transportation through said space into the receiving transport passage; and a means for driving said push rod through a reciprocating push motion covering a stroke corresponding to the lateral width of one game block.
20. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 18 wherein each of said intermediary transport mechanism in said arraying mechanism comprising: a turn disc horizontally disposed at each of those three junctions Among the four junctions between each two of said four rectangularly adjoining, appropriately spaced, and generally squarely arrayed transport passages where said push-in mechanisms are not provided, and disposed centrally between the ends of two rectangularly adjoining transport passages; a plurality of buckets disposed on said turn disc one each at each equal division thereof and at equidistance from the center thereof with their opening directed outward whereby two buckets out of said plurality of buckets being one each positioned in the immediate proximity of one each of said ends of said transport passages; a vertical common drive shaft fixedly supporting the center of said turn disc and being rotatably supported with a freedom of rotation around its vertical axis; and a means of driving said common drive shaft through an intermittent rotation in which one unit rotation movement corresponds to one division of said turn disc; whereby the game blocks coming through said transport passage are accepted in said one bucket being followed by their horizontal transportation to the position adjacent to the receiving side transport passage through a partial rotation of said turn disc; and said intermediary transport mechanism further comprises a push rod plate disposed to push said game blocks after said horizontal transportation into said transport passage on the receiving side through said bucket; and a means for driving said push plate through a reciprocating pushing motion covering a stroke corresponding to the lateral width of one game block.
21. An automtic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said arraying mechanism comprises: four transport passages disposed underneath the table one each at each of four sides of a square formation with their adjoining ends disposed at a predetermined distance, said four transport passages serving as the transport passages for said game blocks during their arraying process, and serving as the mounting platforms for keeping the game blocks ready after said arraying process is over; four shaft rods vertically disposed one each of each of the four middle points between adjacent two each ends of the four transport passages adjoining at right angle with a predetermined space therebetween, and supported with a freedom of rotation around their vertical axes; a chain conveyor including a chain put around said four shaft rods forming a generally square formation connecting said four shaft rods, and a plurality of transport plates disposed on the transport passages and attached in a vertical attitude successively to said chain at intervals corresponding to the lateral width of one game block; a means of driving said chain conveyor through an intermittent recirculating motion in which each unit movement coresponds to the interval between two adjacent transport plates; and four guide plates installed one each at each of four junctions each between two neighboring transport passages positioned at 90* each other flush with said transport passages with their edges in butting dispositions with the relevant ends of said transport passages; whereby unit after unit of aligned units of game blocks are inserted in the spaces between said transport plates successively from one or more stations in front of which these spaces are successively brought for a short stopping duration, with the result that eventually all the game blocks are arrayed in aligned units in the intendedformation.
22. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 18 wherein said mounting mechanism comprises: four means for swivelling said transport passages 90* upward and then swivelling said transport passages back 90* downward by transforming each crank disk revolution into a 90* reciprocating swivelling motion of the shafts that caRry the transport passages, each one of said means includes; two crank discs fixedly mounted by their center on a horizontally rotatably supported shaft rod having a turning freedom around a horizontal axis; a crank rod the base end of which is connected to one of said two crank discs at an offset position, and the other end of which is connected to a horizontal swivellably supported shaft; two arm rods of which the base ends are fixedly connected to said shaft, and to the other ends of which said transport passage is fixedly connected; said one transport passage being fixedly connected to said arm rods serving as the transport passage while the game blocks are being arrayed, and serving as the mounting platform for the game blocks to be ready after said arraying process; a means for driving said two crank discs through one rotation at every one command; and a sliding plate formed corresponding to the locus of the transport passage which is swivelled 90* upward around the base ends of said arm rods; and said mounting mechanism further comprises: four means for lowering a rise-fall lids and then raising said rise-fall lids back to their initial positions at each one revolution of the other crank discs, each of said means includes; a crank rod the base end of which is connected to said other crank disc at an offset position, and the other end of which is connected to the rise-fall lid; and said rise-fall lid four of which being inserted in one each of four rise-fall openings provided in a square formation at four sides of the table, with their top surface flush with the table surface; whereby said two groups of means are so correlatively driven by one simultaneous rotation of said two each crank discs that the game blocks mounted on the transport passages in an upright attitude are swivelled 90* into a horizontal attitude, and are subsequently mounted onto the table top.
23. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor game as claimed in claim 18 wherein said mounting mechanism comprises: four means for mounting the game blocks on the table top each one of which includes; a crank disc fixedly mounted by its center on a horizontal rotatably supported shaft rod with a turning freedom around a horizontal axis; a crank rod the base end of which is connected to said crank disc at an offset position, and the other end of which is connected to a horizontal swivellably supported shaft; two arm rods of which the base ends are fixedly connected to said shaft, and to the other ends of which said transport passage is fixedly connected; said one transport passage being fixedly connected to said arm rods serving as the transport passage while the game blocks are being arrayed, and serving as the mounting platform for the game blocks to be ready after said arraying process; a means for driving said crank disc through one rotation at each one command; and a clamping plate swivellably attached to the side edge line of said transport passage opposite to its flanged side edge adapted to clamp those game blocks which are mounted on said transport passage with an appropriate elastic force; whereby every one revolution of said crank disc is transformed into one each 90* reciprocating swivel motion of said shaft that drives said transport passage thereby said transport passage is swivelled upward through 90* and then swivelled back downward through 90*, with the result that those game blocks which are clamped on the transport passage in upright attitude are swivelled into horizontal attitude through said 90* upward swivel motion and furthermore, because when said swivel motion is completed, said clamping is released automatically,, said blocks are left arrayed on the table; and said mounting mechanism further comprises: four through windows opened in the table at four sides forming a square formation adapted to let said game blocks pass through; and four rise-fall lids each one of which is hingedly attached to the side edge of each one of said four through windows, with an upward swivel opening freedom around said hinge, whereby said lids are pushed open upward by the game blocks to be mounted on the table, then after said transport passages are brought back to their initial positions, said lids close to form a flush surface with the table top.
24. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 22 wherein said mounting mechanism comprises: said four means each one of which is designed to swivel the game blocks mounted on each one transport passage through 90* and then to move backward horizontally, in each one of which means; said transport passage in the transport passage upward swivelling means is provided with one each downwardly extending support plates at both ends which are penetrated by and connected by one horizontal rod; at each end of said two arm rods there is provided an open end slot; within said open end slots, two ends of said horizontal rod extending outward from said two support plates are accepted thereby said transport passage is connected to the ends of said two arm rods; there is a horizontally extending portion provided at the top of the sliding plate; the shaft to which the base ends of said arm rods are fixed and the crank disc are so connected that at every one complete turn of said crank ddisc, said shaft is driven through an angular reciprocation covering an angle somewhat larger than 90*; thereby at every one complete turn of said crank disc, the game blocks on the transport passage are moved through 90* and some more distance into the horizontal portion; and said mounting mechanism further comprises said four means for lowering and again raising said rise-fall lids in which; said four rise-fall lids are disposed underneath four top frames installed over the four sides of the table; four push-out rods are disposed at the rear of game blocks mounted on the table top as the result of a rise of said rise-fall lids adapted to push said blocks towards the center of the table; said four push out rods are connected to one each means for driving them towards the center of the table and then returning them to their initial position and as the result the game blocks lifted and mounted on the table top are furthermore pushed towards the central region of the table.
25. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks, and blocks for other indoor games as claimedd in claim 18 wherein said mounting mechanism comprises: four means for swivelling the game blocks upward through 90* each one of which includes; a shaft rod rotatably supported in a horizontal attitude; two arm rods of which the base ends are fixed to said shaft rod and the other ends are fixed to said transport passage; the transport passage fixedly supported by said arm rods serving as the transport passage for the game blocks while they are being arrayed and serving as a waiting mounting platform for said game blocks after they are completely arrayed, a means for driving said shaft rod through a reciprocating 90* swivelling motion; and a sliding plate correspondingly formed to the locus of the game blocks being upwardly swivelled through 90* by the swivelling motion of said shaft rod; four means for lifting said game blocks vertically onto the table top, each one of which includes; a rise-fall lid disposed adjacent to the upper end edge of said sliding plate; a means for vertically reciprocally driving said rise-fall lid over the moving range between the table top and said sliding plate upper edge; a rise-fall opening so opened in the table that the raised rise-fall lid is snugly accepted therein; a second rise-fall lid disposed above said rise-fall lid and maintained by means of connecting rods in such a way that when it is lowered to its lowermost position it fits in the rise-fall opening with its top surface flush with the table top; and four means for pushing out the game blocks from the rise-fall lid onto the table top each one of which includes; a push plate disposed outside of the game blocks mounted on the lower rise-fall lid adapted to push said game blocks on the lower rise-fall lid forward onto the table top; whereby said all three means are so correlatively driven that the game blocks swivelled upward through 90* are mounted on the lower rise-fall lid, which are then lifted to the level of the table top with the rise of the lower rise-fall lid, and finally, these game blocks are pushed onto the table top from the lower rise-fall lid.
26. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games as claimed in claim 1 wherein said mounting mechanism comprises: four transport passages having horizontally formed top surfaces, horizontally installed underneath the table, four of them forming a generally square configuration, serving as the transport passages for the game blocks while they are being arrayed, and serving as the mounting platform for holding the game blocks in readiness after they have been completely arrayed; one each rise-fall lid disposed adjacent to the outer edge line of each of said transport passages in parallel therewith; four rise-fall openings opened at four positions on the table forming a generally square configuration adapted to freely receive said rise-fall lids; a means connected to each of said rise-fall lid for vertically driving said lid over a stroke between the highest position corresponding to the table top and the lowest position corresponding to the transport passage; four drop prevention plates one each disposed one each outer side edge of the transport passage that adjoin each rise-fall lid, installed with a vertical freedom of movement under an appropriate elastic force; four push plates vertically disposed on the inner edge side of said transport passages in parallel therewith and in the close proximity thereof, and adapted to push the game blocks arrayed on the transport passages with their longitudinal axes directed horizontally onto the rise-fall lid that has been brought down; and a means for driving said push plate through a horizontal reciprocating motion stroke covering from the inner side edge to the outer side edge of the transport passages.
27. An automatic shuffling and table-top-arraying machine for Mah-Jongg blocks, card game blocks and blocks for other indoor games, characterized as a game block arraying machine utilizing two sets of Mah-Jongg game blocks or other game blocks having the same shape as Mah-Jongg game blocks comprising: a. a throw-in mechanism for throwing said game blocks into an orientation mechanism after a game is over; b. a shuffling mechanism including a casing disposed underneath said throw-in mechanism adapted to receive thrown-in game blocks; a pulsator driven inside said casing by a motor adapted to shuffle said game blocks received in the casing; and through holes provided at the bottom of said casing in a generally circular configuration with the total number equal to or half as many as the number of the game blocks; c. the orientation mechanism including a plurality of cylinders each one of which is disposed directly underneath said through holes, adapted to receive the game blocks in upright attitude; and a pair of magnets installed on the side wall of said cylinders with a magnet of one polarity installed on the side towards the center of the casing and magnets of the opposite polarity installed on the side towards the outside of the casing; whereby those game blocks received in the cylinders are turned around under the mutual magnetic force working between said external magnet pieces and the magnet pieces embedded in the game blocks in the proximity Of either their head side or their tail side, to become oriented as to their head-tail attitude; d. a transport mechanism including; four articulated plate units each linearly connected a number of the elements of said orientation mechanism corresponding to one fourth of all the elements of said orientation mechanism; four pantographs each so connected to each of said plate units as to straighten each quarter-arc-formed plate unit of the orientation mechanism into a straight form and to transport them to the next-positioned arraying mechanism; and a means of driving said pantographs into an extension-contraction motion over the transport stroke required to perform the above function; e. arraying mechanisms disposed at the end of said transport stroke of said unit orientation mechanisms to array the transported game blocks in one-row form or parallel two-row form in which all the game blocks are upright; and f. a mounting mechanism in which said game blocks aligned and arrayed in the above mechanism are lifted and mounted in the formation suited to starting the intended game on the table top.
US46304374 1974-04-22 1974-04-22 Automatic game block shuffling, aligning and table top arraying machine Expired - Lifetime US3899178A (en)

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US4264074A (en) * 1978-08-04 1981-04-28 Iwazo Sobajima Apparatus for automatic arrangement of Mah-Jongg tiles
GB2132905A (en) * 1983-01-05 1984-07-18 Qualidux Ind Co Ltd Playing piece
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GB2200561A (en) * 1987-01-31 1988-08-10 Ronald Edward Bowles Domino mixer
US6113100A (en) * 1997-12-01 2000-09-05 Mu; Bing Device for arranging rectangular parallelepiped flat tiles used for tile games
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US20120326388A1 (en) * 2011-06-24 2012-12-27 Hu Wang Lift mechanism of tile-based game machine
CN105311825A (en) * 2014-07-07 2016-02-10 江苏唐邦机电有限公司 Oblique pushing lifting device of mahjong machine
CN106039696A (en) * 2016-07-01 2016-10-26 深圳市尚米乐科技有限公司 Dealing method of poker cards in mahjong and poker all-in-one machine
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Cited By (45)

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US4219200A (en) * 1978-03-28 1980-08-26 Izumi Takahashi Device for automatically assembling tiles for the Mah-Jongg game
US4264074A (en) * 1978-08-04 1981-04-28 Iwazo Sobajima Apparatus for automatic arrangement of Mah-Jongg tiles
US4534561A (en) * 1982-12-10 1985-08-13 Dengen Automatic Co. Ltd. Tile arranging apparatus for automatic game playing table
GB2132905A (en) * 1983-01-05 1984-07-18 Qualidux Ind Co Ltd Playing piece
US4515367A (en) * 1983-01-14 1985-05-07 Robert Howard Card shuffler having a random ejector
GB2200561A (en) * 1987-01-31 1988-08-10 Ronald Edward Bowles Domino mixer
US6113100A (en) * 1997-12-01 2000-09-05 Mu; Bing Device for arranging rectangular parallelepiped flat tiles used for tile games
US6626435B1 (en) * 1997-12-27 2003-09-30 Shigeru Kanamori Automatic Pai Gow table system
US9861881B2 (en) 1998-04-15 2018-01-09 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card handling apparatuses and methods for handling cards
US9561426B2 (en) 1998-04-15 2017-02-07 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card-handling devices
US10022617B2 (en) 2001-09-28 2018-07-17 Bally Gaming, Inc. Shuffler and method of shuffling cards
US10004976B2 (en) 2001-09-28 2018-06-26 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card handling devices and related methods
US10343054B2 (en) 2001-09-28 2019-07-09 Bally Gaming, Inc. Systems including automatic card handling apparatuses and related methods
US10226687B2 (en) 2001-09-28 2019-03-12 Bally Gaming, Inc. Method and apparatus for using upstream communication in a card shuffler
US10086260B2 (en) 2001-09-28 2018-10-02 Bally Gaming, Inc. Method and apparatus for using upstream communication in a card shuffler
US9700785B2 (en) 2002-02-08 2017-07-11 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card-handling device and method of operation
US10092821B2 (en) 2002-02-08 2018-10-09 Bally Technology, Inc. Card-handling device and method of operation
US9908034B2 (en) 2005-06-13 2018-03-06 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card shuffling apparatus and card handling device
US10220297B2 (en) 2006-03-24 2019-03-05 Shuffle Master Gmbh & Co Kg Card handling apparatus and associated methods
US9789385B2 (en) 2006-03-24 2017-10-17 Shuffle Master Gmbh & Co Kg Card handling apparatus
US9764221B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2017-09-19 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card-feeding device for a card-handling device including a pivotable arm
US9901810B2 (en) 2006-05-31 2018-02-27 Bally Gaming, Inc. Playing card shuffling devices and related methods
US10286291B2 (en) 2006-11-10 2019-05-14 Bally Gaming, Inc. Remotely serviceable card-handling devices and related systems and methods
US9633523B2 (en) 2007-06-06 2017-04-25 Bally Gaming, Inc. Apparatus, system, method, and computer-readable medium for casino card handling with multiple hand recall feature
US9922502B2 (en) 2007-06-06 2018-03-20 Balley Gaming, Inc. Apparatus, system, method, and computer-readable medium for casino card handling with multiple hand recall feature
US10137359B2 (en) 2009-04-07 2018-11-27 Bally Gaming, Inc. Playing card shufflers and related methods
US10166461B2 (en) 2009-04-07 2019-01-01 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card shuffling apparatuses and related methods
US9744436B2 (en) 2009-04-07 2017-08-29 Bally Gaming, Inc. Playing card shuffler
US8672329B2 (en) * 2011-06-24 2014-03-18 Shaoxing City Kewei Electron & Techology Co., Ltd. Lift mechanism of tile-based game machine
US20130001875A1 (en) * 2011-06-24 2013-01-03 Hu Wang Automatic tile-based game machine
US20120326388A1 (en) * 2011-06-24 2012-12-27 Hu Wang Lift mechanism of tile-based game machine
US9849368B2 (en) 2012-07-27 2017-12-26 Bally Gaming, Inc. Batch card shuffling apparatuses including multi card storage compartments
US9861880B2 (en) 2012-07-27 2018-01-09 Bally Gaming, Inc. Card-handling methods with simultaneous removal
US10124241B2 (en) 2012-07-27 2018-11-13 Bally Gaming, Inc. Batch card shuffling apparatuses including multi card storage compartments, and related methods
US10258868B2 (en) * 2014-01-29 2019-04-16 Universal Entertainment Corporation Game table
US20160346669A1 (en) * 2014-01-29 2016-12-01 Universal Entertainment Corporation Game table
US10279245B2 (en) 2014-04-11 2019-05-07 Bally Gaming, Inc. Method and apparatus for handling cards
US10092819B2 (en) 2014-05-15 2018-10-09 Bally Gaming, Inc. Playing card handling devices, systems, and methods for verifying sets of cards
CN105311825A (en) * 2014-07-07 2016-02-10 江苏唐邦机电有限公司 Oblique pushing lifting device of mahjong machine
CN105311825B (en) * 2014-07-07 2018-08-03 温岭市智营电子科技有限公司 Species obliquely pushed up means mahjong
US10238954B2 (en) 2014-08-01 2019-03-26 Bally Gaming, Inc. Hand-forming card shuffling apparatuses including multi-card storage compartments, and related methods
US9993719B2 (en) 2015-12-04 2018-06-12 Shuffle Master Gmbh & Co Kg Card handling devices and related assemblies and components
CN106039696A (en) * 2016-07-01 2016-10-26 深圳市尚米乐科技有限公司 Dealing method of poker cards in mahjong and poker all-in-one machine
CN106178493A (en) * 2016-08-30 2016-12-07 阳琳 Integrated title lifting device of automatic Mahjong machine
US10339765B2 (en) 2016-09-26 2019-07-02 Shuffle Master Gmbh & Co Kg Devices, systems, and related methods for real-time monitoring and display of related data for casino gaming devices

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