Player ranking for tournament play – Using RFID chips to hold tournaments with real-time results in multiple locations.

Method of playing a game of chance including purchase of additional game play information and system for facilitating the play thereof – A lottery card that, even if it is not an instant win, may be combined for an additional chance with a second card. The theory being to get people to want to buy more than one lottery card at a time.

Integrated game system, method, and device – I’ve been doing these for over four years now, and this has to be the most bizarre patent claim I’ve ever seen.

Let us start with the abstract:

“The present invention provides an integrated game with five subsystems: (i) electronic spell-casting system, (ii) card game system, (iii) user-created card system, (iv) system for replacing the use of dice and/or random number generation; and (v) board game system. Spell-casting system provides a physical input mechanism, e.g., sensor-equipped “magic wand”, and a verbal input mechanism which together trigger a spell. Cards form formations affecting their powers and are marked as “spent” by being placed under another card. Users create their own cards through a Web-accessible site. Random number (generated by computer or dice) usage is replaced by “challenges,” i.e., player-performed tasks. Chess pieces follow standard rules but are deployed one-by-one, as are squares of the chess board.”

This is one game????

The patent is a freakin’ 73 pages along, filled with flowcharts and abstract pictures, and is entirely incomprehensible.

But no, it does not appear to be one game. It’s a combination of all five games that Inventerprise is trying to license. The board game/chess part is described here (and, while sort of interesting, doesn’t look half as interesting as Beyond Chess).

I’m at a loss as to why this is one patent instead of five patents. It cost less to file?

Whatever the reason, and though I am not a lawyer, it looks like it makes for a weaker patent, since here’s the only thing that actually looks like a process:

Collusion detection – Add up a player’s winnings and divide by the number of rounds to see if he’s cheating.

System including card game dispensing shoe and method – Yet another Shuffle Master patent. This card shoe not only tracks cards dealt, but assesses what player’s should be doing with these cards and checks to see if anyone is cheating.

Wagering method including a reverse bet – You get two hands, and you can bet that the dealer will beat one of your hands or one of some other players’ hands. I’m not sure how this takes into account house advantage.

Hierarchical, multi-dimensional, strategy board game apparatus and playing method – By Jay Eggers. This:

Claims: a) a 3D board with less obstructions by the supporting bars than usual for 3D boards, and b) “game pieces which, in play, attain promotion by ascending game board levels and may also be demoted by an opponent while effectively remaining in play.”

And it happens to be the second patent ever to mention Mr. Spock (a third patent sources an article with the name Mr. Spock in the title; I didn’t count that one).

Lottery game utilizing nostalgic game themes – From Scientific Games. A Pac-Man lottery card. SG has a number of other “nostalgia game” cards from Hasbro in the works.

Massively scalable multi-player game system – Not a board or card game patent, but I thought you might want to know that Gaia Online is now patented, based on its supposed scalability.

“Buy a peek” gaming methods and devices – A system for charging players (and reducing payouts) for more than the usual information during games such as Blackjack.

Toys or games using a launching device and foam blocks – A device which, when too many foam block are put onto it, flings them around the room.

Double button poker – A three page patent without a single picture. The abstract reads simply: “A poker game utilizing two buttons which include a Dealer Button that is utilized as in conventional Texas Hold’Em rules, and a winner’s button which is given to the winner of a hand and permits the winner to bet last in all rounds of betting in a subsequent hand until a new winner is determined.”

Roulette game apparatus and method – A 62 number roulette wheel (rather than the usual 38), whose advantages should be obvious:

Casino wagering game of three-dice football – By Jamie Abrahamson. A dice game with three dice and a discardable American football theme. He hasn’t got the payouts worked out, yet, but he included a proposed board:

Playing card viewer – Didn’t we have one of these last month? Another mirrored contraption.

Dice cup – A cup with holes in the bottom.

Strategic pattern building board game – A design patent by Hasbro:

Betting apparatus – Remember that nice, simple abstract from Double Button Poker? Try this one on for size:

“The betting apparatus is configured such that the numbers of a number display portion forming BET areas are displayed in a second BET screen with the same number as those of number plates disposed on a roulette wheel and in a wheel shape in the common array, and such that not only the designated BET area but also the BET areas around the former can be simultaneously bet by setting the bet width in a BET width select unit.”

Does the following figure help any?

Some kind of token-operated roulette game.

Hold ’em poker with multiple opponents hands – I read it twice, and I still have no idea how this is different from standard Texas Hold’em.

System for playing a combination board and card game – By Michael Vosper. A combination card and Tic-Tac-Toe game. Apparently, a tie in a Tic Tac Toe game is called a “cats game”. I did not know that.