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Title:
A WEB OR GRID FOR A DARTS GAME BOARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/009179
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A web or grid (16) for a game board (10) for use in playing a combination of darts and a card game with sets of darts has a plurality of elongate members disposed parallel to each of two mutually perpendicular axes, to define a plurality of rectangular openings (18). The web or grid (16), when provided over a main surface of a body of the game board (10) divides the main surface into a plurality or target areas (18). A game board (10) for the combination game has a body which defines a substantially flat playing surface into or against which a dart is receivable, and a web or grid (16) which divides the playing surface into target areas (18) in each of which is a representation of a respective playing area.

Inventors:
SIERAKOWSKI, Philip, Louis (1 Penman Street 3942, Blairgowrie, VIC 3942, AU)
Application Number:
AU2006/001018
Publication Date:
January 25, 2007
Filing Date:
July 20, 2006
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
POKER-DART PTY LTD (Level 24, 44 St Georges Terrace, Perth W.A. 6000, AU)
SIERAKOWSKI, Philip, Louis (1 Penman Street 3942, Blairgowrie, VIC 3942, AU)
International Classes:
A63F1/04; F41J3/00
Foreign References:
GB2034590A1980-06-11
GB692582A1953-06-10
GB644250A1950-10-04
GB586743A1947-03-28
USD250215S
US5066020A1991-11-19
US4913444A1990-04-03
GB2349585A2000-11-08
US5377990A1995-01-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PHILIPS ORMONDE & FITZPATRICK (Levels 21 & 22, 367 Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria 3000, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS:

1. A web or grid for a game board for use in playing a combination of darts and a card game with sets of darts, the game board having a dart board body which defines a main surface comprising a substantially flat playing surface into or against which a dart is receivable; wherein the grid has a plurality of elongate members disposed parallel to each of two mutually perpendicular axes and arranged, connected or inter-connected to define an array of rectangular openings, such that when provided over or embedded in the main surface of the body the web or grid divides the main surface into a plurality of rectangular target areas.

2. The web or grid of claim 1 , wherein the web or grid has a size such that the playing surface is able to correspond substantially to that of a standard dart board for playing darts per se.

3. The web or grid of claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the grid or web is made up of wire or plastic filament of a gauge substantially the same as that used for standard dart boards, or of thinner gauge.

4. The web or grid of claim 3, wherein the wire or filament has a thickness corresponding to 18SWG minimum to 16SWG maximum.

5. The web or grid of claim 3 or claim 4, wherein the grid is secured to the dart board body by being stapled or pinned to lay flat against the playing surface.

6. The web or grid of claims 1 or claim 2, wherein the grid is made up of thin strips or blades of metal or plastics material, each having its width dimension parallel to a third axis which is perpendicular to the two mutually perpendicular axes.

7. The web or grid of claim 6, wherein the grid is adapted to be forced through the playing surface so that the grid is embedded in the dart board body.

8. The web or grid of any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein the grid or web has a main central region which defines a plurality of openings for target areas, such as about forty, and wherein the main area is square or rectangular and has a dimension between diagonally opposite corners which is less than the diameter of an actual or notional circle, and spacing between the main area and the circle is such that, within the circle, three further openings for target areas can be defined by the grid, along each side of the main area.

9. The web or grid of claim 8, wherein the rectangular form of each opening for a target area is somewhat similar in its width to length ratio to normal playing cards.

10. The web or grid of claim 9, wherein the openings for target areas are of more than one size.

11. The web or grid of any one of claims 8 to 10, wherein the main, central region of the grid or web defines forty openings for target areas, with each of the forty openings having a height greater than its width.

12. The web or grid of claim 11 , wherein the grid has a central column of four openings for target areas and, to each side of the central column, three side columns each having six openings for target areas.

13. The web or grid of claim 12, wherein the four openings of the central column have a height greater than that of the six openings of each side column, and the central column is wider than each side column.

14. The web or grid of any one of claims 8 to 13, wherein the three openings at each side of the main central region are disposed such that each opening has its length dimension parallel to the respective side of the central region, in a column parallel to the central and side columns.

15. The web or grid of any one of claims 8 to 14, wherein the three openings at each of the top and bottom side of the central region are in a row extending transversely with respect to the columns, with at least the first and third of the three openings having its length dimension extending along its row.

16. The web or grid of claim 14 or claim 15, wherein the first and third of the openings at each side of the central region has an outer corner at the respective end of its row which is on the actual or notional circle.

17. The web or grid of claim 6 or claim 7, or of any one of claims 8 to 16 when appended directly or indirectly to claim 6 to claim 7, wherein the strips or blades have laterally extending slots at locations at which two strips or blades intersect, with the slots enabling interfitting of intersecting strips or blades.

18. A game board for use in playing a combination of darts and a card game with sets of darts, wherein the game board has a dart board body which defines a main surface comprising a substantially flat playing surface into or against which the dart is receivable, a grid or web attached to the body and which divides the playing surface into fifty-two target areas; wherein the grid has a plurality of elongate members disposed parallel to each of two mutually perpendicular axes, such that each target area is rectangular, and the playing surface in each target area has provided thereon a representation of a respective card of a fifty-two card pack of playing cards.

19. The game board of claim 18, wherein the dart board body has a form and size such that the playing surface corresponds substantially to that of a standard dart board for playing darts per se.

20. The game board of claim 18 or claim 19, wherein the dart board body has a front layer which defines the main surface and which is made of a material into which the point of a dart is detachably receivable, and a flat backing layer of a suitably stiff, rigid material on which the front layer is secured.

21. The game board of claim 20, wherein the front layer is made of fibre, most preferably sisal, which has been compressed under high pressure and secured.

22. The game board of claim 18 or claim 19, wherein the main surface includes ferromagnetic material enabling the game board to be used with darts having strong magnetic tips.

23. The game board of claim 18 or claim 19, wherein the game board is electronic, with each target area responsive to contact by a soft-tipped dart, with the game board having a visual or audio output indicative of the card value for target areas hit.

24. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 23, wherein the representations of cards are provided by a suitable printing process such as by screenprinting.

25. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 24, wherein the representations are provided directly on to the front layer.

26. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 24, wherein the representations are provided on a sheet of paper, paper-board or fabric which is provided over and secured to the dart board body to provide the main surface comprising the playing surface.

27. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 26, wherein the grid or web is made up of wire of a gauge substantially the same as that used for standard dart boards, or of thinner gauge.

28. The game board of claim 27, wherein the wire is of 18SWG minimum to 16SWG maximum.

29. The game board of claim 27 to claim 28, wherein the wire grid is secured to the dart board body by being stapled or pinned to lay flat against the playing surface.

30. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 26, wherein the grid is made up of thin strips or blades of metal, each having its width dimension parallel to a third axis which is perpendicular to the two mutually perpendicular axes.

31. The game board of claim 30, wherein the grid is forced through the playing surface so that the grid is embedded in the dart board body.

32. The game board of claim 31 , wherein the embedded grid is forced fully into the body such that an edge of each strip or blade of the grid, the trailing edge as the grid is embedded, is substantially flush with the playing surface.

33. The game board of claim 31 , wherein the grid is embedded so that the trailing edge of each strip stands slightly proud of the playing surface, most preferably by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of the strips.

34. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 33, wherein the grid fits substantially within a circle (actually or notional) of a diameter substantially equal to that of the outer wire bounding the annular "double area" of a dart board in which twice a sector score is obtained.

35. The game board of any one of claims 18 to 34, wherein the grid or web has a main central region which defines a plurality of target areas, such as about forty, and wherein the main area is square or rectangular and has a dimension between diagonally opposite corners which is less than the diameter of an actual or notional circle, and spacing between the main area and the circle is such that, within the circle, three further target areas can be defined by the grid, along each side of the main area.

36. The game board of claim 35, wherein the rectangular form of each target area is somewhat similar in its width to length ratio to normal playing cards.

37. The game board of claim 36, wherein the target areas are of more than one size.

38. The game board of any one of claims 35 to 37, wherein the main, central region of the grid or web defines forty target areas, with each of the forty target areas having a height greater than its width.

39. The game board of claim 38, wherein the grid has a central column of four target areas and, to each side of the central column, three side columns each having six target areas.

40. The game board of claim 39, wherein the four target areas of the central column have a height greater than that of the six target areas of each side column, and the central column is wider than each side column.

41. The game board of any one of claims 35 to 40, wherein the three target areas at each side of the main central region are disposed such that each target area has its length dimension parallel to the respective side of the central region, in a column parallel to the central and side columns.

42. The game board of any one of claims 35 to 41 , wherein the three target areas at each of the top and bottom side of the central region are in a row extending transversely with respect to the columns, with at least the first and third of the three target areas having its length dimension extending along its row.

43. The game board of claim 41 or claim 42, wherein the first and third of the target areas at each side of the central region has an outer corner at the respective end of its row which is on the actual or notional circle.

Description:

A WEB OR GRID FOR A DARTS GAME BOARD

This invention relates to a grid or web for a game board for use in playing dart games, and to game board having the grid or web.

"A Short History of Darts", contained on the informative website <www.indepthinfo.com>, traces the origins of the sport of darts to Medieval England. It is indicated that the sport started as archery training, using shortened arrows and, as a target, the end of a wine barrel. Despite this early beginning, and the boost no doubt given to the popularity of darts by the enjoyment the sport gave Henry VIII, it is said that the current rules were settled as recently as around 1900.

The long history and the constant popularity of darts no doubt are reasons why the sport has inspired many proposals for games based on its relatively simple requirements for a dart board and sets of darts. Examples of such proposals are provided by British patents 586743; 587458; 692582; 997015; 998064; 1058205; 1435258; 1483419; 2034590, 2140313 and 2349584, as well as United States utility patents 4314703; 5050890 and 5066020 and US design patents D270215; D296708; D350158; D365601 and D382600. None of these is known to have achieved commercial success, at least compared to darts. To the extent that this is the case, it no doubt is due in many instances to a clear distinction able to be drawn between darts and the proposals. The sport of darts has a very simple underlying concept, while it is not encumbered by complex or newly formulated rules. Rather, darts relies on what the above-identified website refers to as a combination of talent, skill and even a bit of luck. The balance of that combination can vary acceptably over a wide range of talent and skill without reducing the enjoyment of the sport. In contrast, proposals relying on complex or newly created rules need to be able to engender a source of enjoyment and interest additional to that experienced in the sport of darts, and not to appear artificial, and they seem not to meet either of these needs.

Some of the above proposals seek to combine darts with another popular sport or game. This is soccer in the case of GB997015; bingo or the like with GB1435258; snooker with GB1483419; a card game for each of GB2034590; GB2349584; US4314703; US5066020; and USD250215; war games for US5050890 and lotto in the case of USD350158. However, proposals create little if anything of the real atmosphere or action of other sports or games such as soccer, snooker and war games. Also, even with bingo, lotto and card games in general, there is limited realism of either darts or the game combined with darts.

The failure to achieve commercial success with a combination of darts and a card game is surprising. This is particularly given the normal association of gambling with some card games, in particular with the games of Blackjack ' (including the variant of Pontoon) and Poker. However, in the case of GB2349584; US5066020 and USD250215, the arrangement is difficult to relate to playing cards or, in particular, their form and graphic images. For all card games the cards need to be able to be readily distinguished, preferably in form but importantly both as to their suit and ranking or value. Also, in some instances the layout for combinations of darts and a card game follow somewhat the radial format of a conventional dart board, increasing the difficulty of distinguishing between individual card suits and values. The arrangement of US4314703 has the disadvantage of a radial format, plus the added complication of slots accommodating card inserts. In use, the inserts need to be concealed after being removed and, of course, they then are liable to be misplaced or lost.

The present invention is directed to providing a web or grid for an alternative game board for use in playing a combination of darts and a card game. The card game may be a form of Poker or of many other card games. The web or grid is intended to facilitate a combined game of darts with a card game in a manner enabling a realistic representation of all playing cards.

The present invention provides a game board which has a dart board body which defines a main surface comprising a substantially flat playing

surface into or against which a dart is receivable. Attached to the body, the game board has a grid or web which divides the playing surface into fifty-two target areas. The grid has a plurality of elongate members disposed parallel to each of two mutually perpendicular axes, such that each target area is rectangular. Also, the playing surface, in each target area, has provided thereon a representation of a respective card of a fifty-two card pack of playing cards.

The present invention also provides a web or grid for such a game board. Thus, according to the present invention, there is provided a web which has a plurality of elongate members disposed parallel to each of two mutually perpendicular axes. The elongate members are connected or inter-connected to define an array of rectangular openings. The arrangement is such that the web, when provided over or embedded in the main surface of the body for the game board, divides the main surface of the body into a plurality of target areas.

The web preferably is of a form providing for not less than fifty-two openings. Thus, when provided over the main surface of the body for a game board, there is a respective target area for each card of a fifty-two card pack. However, that number of target areas can be provided by at least two adjacent webs being provided over the main surface of the game board body.

The web most preferably has a form and size suitable for a game board body having a playing surface which corresponds substantially to that of a standard dart board for playing darts per se. That is, the body and, hence, the playing surface preferably is circular and substantially 453mm in diameter. However, the dart board body may be larger of smaller than a standard dart board if required, with corresponding adjustment of the web, such as to decrease or increase respectively the level of skill at darts necessary to play a card game.

The dart board body with which the web of the invention is used may be formed of any suitable materials used for dart boards. Preferably the body has a front layer which defines the main surface and is made of a material into

which the point of a dart is detachably receivable, and a flat backing layer of a suitably stiff, rigid material on which the front layer is secured, such as by adhesive bonding. The front layer preferably is made of fibre, most preferably sisal (as in the case of so called "bristle" dart boards), compressed under high pressure and secured by a periphery steel band. With such a front layer of fibre, it is processed such as by being sanded, to achieve a flat, smooth playing surface. However, the dart board body may alternatively be made entirely of, or have a front layer formed from, a suitable material such as rolled and compressed paper, relatively dense cork-board or other material into which the point of a dart is detachably receivable. The representations of cards may be provided by a suitable printing process, such as by screenprinting or digital printing. The representations may be provided directly on to the front layer, as is preferred where the front layer is of fibres. However, the representations may be provided on a sheet of paper, paper-board or fabric which is provided over and secured to the dart board body to provide the main surface comprising the playing surface.

While it is preferred that the dart board body has a main surface into which the point of a dart is detachably receivable, other arrangements are possible. Thus, the main surface may include ferromagnetic material, with the game board used with darts having strong magnetic tips rather than sharp points. In a further alternative, the game board may be electronic, in having target areas responsive to contact by a soft-tipped dart. In the latter case, the game board may have an output providing a visual read-out of the card values for target areas hit, or an audio output which preferably is interactive. The construction of the web can vary depending on the form of the game board.

The elongate members of the grid or web may be made up of wire of a gauge substantially the same as that used for standard dart boards, or of thinner gauge, or it may be made of stiff plastics filament similar in form to wire. Thus, the wire or filament may be of 18SWG minimum to 16SWG maximum. The wire or filament grid is preferably secured to the dart board body by being stapled or pinned to lay flat against the playing surface. Alternatively, the elongate members of the grid may be made up of thin strips or blades

preferably of metal or stiff plastics material, having its width dimension parallel to a third axis which is perpendicular to the above-mentioned two axes. In that alternative form, the grid preferably is forced through the playing surface so that the grid is embedded in the dart board body. The embedded grid may be forced fully into the body such that an edge of each strip or blade of the grid, the trailing edge as the grid is embedded, is substantially flush with the playing surface. However, the grid preferably is embedded so that the trailing edge of each strip stands slightly proud of the playing surface, most preferably by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of the strips. The amount may be similar to or less than the thickness of wire used in standard dart boards, such as from about 1 .0 to 1.3mm. Where the grid is not fully embedded, the trailing edges of each strip preferably has a double bevel or is rounded.

Where the web or grid is made of wire or filament, the elongate members may be joined by welding or soldering in the case of wire or by fusion or other form of bonding in the case of plastics. With a web or grid of thin strips or blades, those methods of joining the elongate members may be used.

However, it is preferred that the elongate members be interlocked in the manner disclosed in US patent 5417437 to Coppard et al. That is, each elongate member may have slots extending laterally across part of its width from one edge, at locations at which the elongate member is to intersect with another elongate member, whereby the elongate members are able to inter-fit.

However, as an alternative, the elongate members may be brought into assembly to provide the grid or web over the main surface of the game board body by each elongate member being separately forced into the main surface to become embedded therein and, in this form, elongate members need not extend across each other.

For a game board including ferromagnetic material for use with darts with magnetic tips, or for an electronic game board for use with soft-tipped darts, the web or grid may be made in an integral form, such as by injection moulding of a suitable plastics material. With a web or grid moulded in this way, it may be formed as part of a housing for the game board.

The grid or web may fit substantially within a circle (actually or notional) of a diameter substantially equal to that of the outer wire bounding the annular "double area" of a conventional or standard dart board in which twice a sector score is obtained, that is, the outermost peripheral wire. In the case of a standard dart board, that circle is about 345mm. However, even with a standard dart board size, that circle may be larger, such as up to about 395mm or 400mm. A larger circle is preferred since conforming a rectangular grid to a circle, without significant overlap, results in some areas within the circle which are outside the grid. A larger circle can enable an effective total playing area bounded by the outer periphery of the grid which is substantially the same as the effective playing area of a dart board for playing darts.

The grid or web may have a main central region which defines an array of openings for a plurality of target areas, such as about forty. That main area preferably is square and has a dimension between diagonally opposite corners which is less than the diameter of the actual or notional circle. The spacing between the square and the circle is such that, within the circle the web or grid has three further openings for target areas defined by the grid along each side of the square.

The rectangular form of the opening for each target are may be somewhat similar in its width to length ratio as normal playing cards. However, it assists in arranging a suitable layout for fifty-two cards to have a grid which has openings providing target areas of more than one size. There may be two principal openings and, hence, target area sizes but, as detailed below, selected areas for one size may not be fully utilised. These differences in opening and target area sizes not only assist in meeting the requirements for a fifty-two card layout, but also can add a degree of difficulty to the game for selected card representations.

In a first suitable arrangement the main, central region of the grid or web defines openings for forty target areas, with each of the forty openings and target areas having a height greater than its width. In this instance, height and width are relative to the normal orientation of actual playing cards, as well as

relative to a normal in use orientation of the game board. In that arrangement, the grid has a central column of four openings for target areas and, to each side of the central column, three side columns each having six openings for target areas. In order that the width and height of the columns together form a square, the four openings of the central column necessarily have a height greater than that of the six openings of each side column. Also, to accord with the height to width ratio of normal playing cards, the central column is somewhat wider than each side column.

In a preferred form of the above-detailed first arrangement, the three openings for target areas at each side of the main central region are disposed such that each opening has its length dimension parallel to the respective side of the central region. That is, the three openings for target areas at each side of the central region are in a column parallel to the central and side columns. However, the three openings for target areas at each of the top and bottom side of the central region are in a row extending transversely with respect to the columns, with each opening having its length dimension extending along its row. In that preferred form of the first arrangement, the first and third opening preferably has an outer corner at the respective end of its row which is on the actual or notional circle.

In a second suitable arrangement of the invention, the arrangement overall is similar to that of the first arrangement. However, in the second form, the main central region of the grid or web is rectangular and has a height slightly greater than its width. In that second arrangement, the opening for a central target area of each of the top and bottom rows is in the same orientation, and is in line with, the openings of the central row. The first and third openings for a target area of each of those rows preferably has an outer corner at the respective end of its row which is on the actual or notional circle, while the central opening for a target area has each of its outer corners on that circle.

A third arrangement is similar to the second, except that the rectangular central region has a width slightly greater than its height, with each row along a

side of that region having an opening for a central target area projecting laterally of its row.

In a fourth arrangement, the central region again is square but the column or row along each side of that central region extends laterally with respect to the openings of its column or row.

In order that the invention may be understood more readily, reference is directed to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 illustrates the front face of a game board having a grid or web according to the present invention;

Figure 2 illustrates the grid, for defining target areas of the game board, of Figure 1 ;

Figure 3 is a broken-away partial perspective view of part of the game board of Figure 1 , illustrating one form for the grid of Figure 2;

Figure 4 is similar to Figure 3, but illustrates a second form for the grid of

Figure 2;

Figure 5 also is similar to Figure 3, but illustrates a third form for the grid of Figure 2;

Figure 6 is an isometric view of one preferred form of grid or web according to the present invention;

Figure 7 is an isometric view of another preferred form of grid or web according to the present invention; and

Figure 8 is an exploded perspective view of components of the grid or web of Figure 7, illustrating one mode of assembly.

The game board 10 of Figure 1 has a circular body and, as shown in

Figure 3, the body is made up of a stiff, flat backing-board 12 and a front layer

14 of a material into which the point of a dart is able to be attachably received.

The layer 14 preferably is of compressed sisal similar to that used for quality game boards used for the sport of darts. The front face of game board 10, defined by layer 14, comprises a substantially flat playing surface. Attached to the body, the game board has a grid or web 16 which, in front elevation, has the form shown in Figure 2. The grid 16 extends over the playing surface and divides that surface into fifty-two target areas 18 disposed in a manner enabling a card game, such as Poker, to be played by throwing darts.

The grid 16 is made up of a plurality of elongate members parallel to each of two mutually perpendicular axes. Thus, as shown in Figure 2, the grid has a parallel array of laterally spaced, horizontally extending members 11 , and a similar array of vertically extending members 13. Members 11 and 13 are in a common plane. In this context, "horizontal" and "vertical" is relative to the normal in use orientation shown in Figure 1 , in which grid 16 substantially is in a vertical plane. The members 11 and 13 are secured in relation to each other, such as by being integral or connected at junctions between them, or by being held in relation to each other. The arrangement is such that grid 16 defines a plurality of rectangular openings 15, with the members 11 and 13 forming each opening 15 defining the boundaries of a respective target area 18.

The grid 16 and, hence, each opening 15 and its target area 18 has a rectangular form or habit. Each opening 15 and its target area 18 has a height to width ratio somewhat similar to that of cards of a pack for use in Poker, Blackjack and other card games. The grid 16 has a main central region 20 of a rectangular form having corners A, B, C and D. The region 20 has a height slightly in excess of its width, and includes a central vertical column 22 of four openings 15 for target areas 18 and, to each side of column 22, three vertical columns 24 each of six openings 15 for target areas 16. Thus, region 20 contains openings 15 for forty target areas 18. To each side of region 20, there is a respective shorter vertical column 26 of three openings for target areas 16, while across the top and bottom side of region 20 there is a respective

horizontal row 28 of three openings 15 for target areas 18. Within region 20 and each of columns 26, the openings 15 have their length dimension disposed vertically. The same applies to the middle opening 15 in each row 28, whereas the other openings 15 of the rows 28 have their length dimension disposed horizontally. As indicated, "vertical" and "horizontal" are used relative to game board 10 in the in-use orientation shown in Figure 1 , in which its front face is in a substantially vertical plane.

Around grid 16 the playing surface of the game board of Figure 1 has an annular margin 30 in which text and/or a logo can be displayed. The inner periphery of margin is shown by a circle 34 or, as shown in Figure 2, a rim 35 of and around grid 16. However, an actual circle or rim 35 for grid 16 need not be present, since the actual playing area is provided by the fifty-two target areas

18. The margin 30 may have radial width corresponding to that of the margin of a darts game board on which the sector scores are shown.

Preferably, the outermost end corner of the first and third target area of each column 26 and each row 28 of grid 16 is on the inner periphery of margin 30 (whether or not circle 34 is shown). As the central region 20 of grid 16 has a height slightly in excess of its width, this location of those corners for each row 28 necessitates its central opening 15 being disposed at right angles to the other openings 15 of each row 28.

In the game board of Figure 1 , each of the fifty-two target areas 18 has a representation of a respective playing card of a conventional full pack of cards. Thus, for example, the upper right target area 18 defined by central region 20 of grid 16 has been provided with a representation of the King of Diamonds. The representations most preferably are realistic and accord substantially with those of conventional cards. However, it is preferable to have the representation for the first and third target area 18 of each row 28 shown at right angles to the usual orientation, as illustrated in Figure 1. The representations preferably are in colour, to aid with recognition. Thus heart and diamond symbols and card values for cards having these symbols are preferably shown in red whereas those for spades and clubs are preferably in black. Also, the illustrations for the

Kings, Queens and Jacks are preferably multicoloured, such as in yellow, green, red and black, while the front face of the game board outside grid 16 preferably is suitably coloured, such as in green.

The card representations may be provided by printing directly onto the front face of the game board, and preferably this is done using silk-screen printing. However, alternatively, the representations can be provided on a relatively thin sheet of material which is secured over the front face of the game board body. In that alternative, the sheet material may be paper or paper-board or, most suitably, a suitable fabric.

The openings 15 of columns 24 and, hence, the target areas 18 and the card representations thereon, are smaller than the other openings 15, and target areas 18 and card representations of each of columns 22 and 26 and rows 28. The openings 15 of columns 24 may be from about 40% to 55%, preferably about 45% to 50% of the area of those other openings 15. The card representations of the target areas 18 of columns 24 preferably include the representations of all of the picture cards, as shown in Figure 1. The smaller size for the areas 18 of columns 24 thus increase the skill level necessary for landing a dart on a selected, highly sought after picture card.

The respective central one of the three columns 24 to each side of central column 22 includes two of the representations for the four Aces. While the target area 18 in which each of the Aces is represented is the same size as other areas 18 in columns 24, the representation of each Ace may be smaller in size, as shown in Figure 1. In the arrangement of Figure 1 , the height of the representation of each Ace is reduced until the height to width ratio is about the inverse of that for other representations in areas 18 of columns 24. This adds further to the difficulty of landing a dart on these most sought after cards.

In one form, the grid 16 may comprise elongate members 11 and 13 of round wire, as shown in Figure 3 and Figure 6. In that case, the grid 16 may be secured by staples 19 which straddle the wire at selected locations and

penetrate into the layer 14. The wire may be of from 18SWG up to 16 SWG. Alternatively, the members 11 and 13 may be of stiff plastics filament.

In another form, the grid 16 may comprise elongate members 11 and 13 made of strips of thin metal or stiff plastics material which penetrate edgewise into the layer 14. The strips of grid 16 may be fully embedded in layer 14, as shown in Figure 4, so the trailing edge 21a of each strip member 11 and 13 is flush with the playing surface. In the further alternative of Figure 5, the strip members 11 and 13 may be embedded in layer 14 for almost their full width, to leave a trailing edge margin 21b standing proud of the playing surface. In each case, the stripmembers 11 and 13 may have a thickness substantially the same as suitable wire members 11 and 13 such that, in the case of Figure 5, the margins 21 b look similar to wire without requiring staples.

Figure 6 shows one preferred form for the grid of web 16, in which the elongate members 11 and 13 are of wire or plastics filament, cut to required lengths and secured in relation to each other, as detailed herein. Web 16 is shown as defining rectangular openings 15 and an overall rectangular habit. Grid 16 is within a circular rim 35, although rim 35 can be omitted if required. The grid 16 of Figure 6 preferably is secured against the main surface of the game board by pins or staples extending into the game board body.

Figure 7 shows another preferred form for the grid of web 16. In this instance, the elongate members 11 and 13 are of thin strips of metal or plastics, cut to required lengths and secured in relation to each other. The preferred form for securing members 11 and 13 at an intersection therebetween is shown in Figure 8. The short part of a member 11 and a member 13 shown therein has a respective slot 17 cut into one side and extending across part of the width of the member. At an intersection, the members 11 and 13 interfit by part of the width of each being received into the slot 17 of the other. Once so interfitted, the intersection may be secured, such as by welding, adhesive bonding or the like. Where members 11 and 13 meet at a junction which is not an intersection, their adjacent ends may be secured together, such as by welding, adhesive bonding or the like.

The grid 16 of Figure 7 may be secured as an assembly by being embedded into the main surface of the game board body, with the members 11 and 13 penetrating edgewise through that surface. Alternatively, the individual members may be separately embedded into that surface, to build up the overall assembly for grid 16. In the latter case, the members 11 and 13 may be secured together by being so embedded, while the members 11 and 13 may be shorter, such that each defines only one side of an outermost opening 15 or a common side of two adjacent openings 15. However it is preferred that members 11 and 13 may have a length corresponding to the maximum possible for the grid 16, and that they are secured by interfitting as described with reference to Figure 7.

The game board 10 can be used to play Poker by participants creating a hand of cards by throwing darts. Obviously, in Poker as in other card games, the game rules have to provide for a repeated throw, or a default of some sort, in the event that two darts land in the same target area, as any given card can only be held once in a given hand.

In throwing darts to build up a five card hand, the players can be required to place an initial wager or "ante" before the game commences. There then can be further betting stages after each player has thrown his first, second, third and fourth darts of a set of five darts. Alternatively, the initial wager may be after each player has thrown his first two darts, with further bets after they have thrown their third and fourth darts. In a further variant, each player may be dealt two actual playing cards, which are dealt face down (or one down and one up), followed by the throwing of darts to complete the hands and betting stages as required.

The game board also can be used to play many other games. The procedure and betting options for these, where relevant, readily will be understood.

Finally, it is to be understood that various other modifications and/or alterations may be made without departing from the spirit of the present invention as outlined herein.