Let’s begin with two Microsoft patents, neither of which are specifically board or card game related, but both of which are worth mentioning due to their abusive generality and obviousness:

Microsoft patent 1: Instant messaging embedded games – They claim the idea of embedded a game in an IM application. E.g. your IM application let’s you play Chess with your buddies.

Microsoft patent 2: Personalizing access of game web site based on user configuration – Presenting access on a web page to only those games you already have licensed on your computer. Using XML.

Thanks Microsoft. What would we do without you?

On to the more relevant patents:

Poker-type card game and method therefor – After two cards, the highest hand places a wager. As each of the next three community cards is revealed, the losing hand places a wager at least equal to the first wager. Highest hand in the end takes the pot. Played against a dealer, for some reason; I’m not sure how house keeps the advantage.

Modified chess set and method of playing a modified game of chess – 9×9 chess board with two “princes” instead of a queen (same movement rules). Way to exclude the only powerful female character in the history of abstract games.

patent1Game player selection device and method – An electronic gizmo that can randomize turn order in a board or card game, as well as keep track of whose turn it is. Cute. I like it.

Methods of playing card games comprising saying the alphabet with words, saying words with words, and saying the alphabet with words while saying words with words – Enunciation games.

Multi-player audio game and game console – A very strange game for Ipod owners. Plug your mp3 players into the game board and begin a game with various questions. When you think you have a matching song, be the first to find it on your device and press play. If your song is correct (?) you win the round. If you’re voted incorrect, the other players still have a shot.

patent2Rectangular optimization grid and associated mathematical games – A grid apparatus upon which to play mathematical problems. For more information, see this paper by the author. (PDF)

Playing card system – This guy would like to reinvent card shuffling, since it is a) time consuming, and b) prone to mistakes and cheating. His solution: stick every card into a metallic case (like a business card holder), and throw them all into a lotto ball like cage with a crank that can be spun around.


Method and device for conducting a blackjack-type card game – The casino game Double Attack Blackjack from Nu Games.

Method and device for playing a game using a grid – Poker where the cards are arranged in a pattern on the table (triangle, square, etc) and you get to choose a subset of cards from the pattern (line, diamond). Gee. I remember playing this type of poker back in the 70s with my brother.

Board game – Pachisi, where the player’s starting positions are country names (USA, Canada, England, Jamaica) and the center space is called Paradise. The rules are exactly like Pachisi. Whoever approved this patent is an imbecile.

Varieties of human experiences board game – From the abstract: “Provides the player with real life experiences such as confrontations against other players as well with the inevitable elements of nature. The game creates a greater awareness about the complexities of modern living, and how interdependent we are with our environment.”


Poker games with varying position advantage – Any standard Texas Hold’em or Omaha game, where some of the wagering goes in the opposite direction, thus eliminating the advantage held by the last player to bet on a hand. Assigned to Prime Table Games.

Systems and methods for card games that simulate non-card casino table games – Poker and Roulette variants with a side bet. Assigned to The Pala Band of Mission Indians.