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Out-shot calculator for darts

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Title: Out-shot calculator for darts.
Abstract: A computer-readable medium, device and system for calculating an out-shot sequence in a game of darts The device may include an input component, a processing component, and an output component. The input component may receive a player's turn score or overall score. The processing component may be in communication with the input component and may execute software instructions for computing an out-shot sequence based on the overall score. The output component may be in communication with the input component and the processing component and may provide the out-shot sequence to the player. The input component may also receive a player's out-shot preference and the processing component may compute the out-shot sequence based on the overall score and the out-shot preference. ...


- Philadelphia, PA, US
Inventors: Stephen Hand, Frank Zampogna
USPTO Applicaton #: #20080088090 - Class: 273371 (USPTO) - 04/17/08 - Class 273 


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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20080088090, Out-shot calculator for darts.

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FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001]Embodiments of the present invention are related generally to a computer-readable medium, device and system for calculating an optimal out-shot sequence in a game of darts based on a player's overall score and more particularly for calculating the out-shot sequence based on the player's overall score and shot preference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002]Dart games may be played using a variety of dart board configurations and/or rules of play. English dart boards, for example, are often circular in shape and may be partitioned into multiple sections, each worth a predetermined number of points. In particular, an English dart board may be divided into twenty numbered sections, scoring from 1 to 20 points. In addition, each numbered section may be further divided into one or more subsections that correspond to a multiple of the numbered section. Thus, a dart that lands in a section that corresponds to a triple-18 (T18), for example, is worth 54 points (i.e., 18 multiplied by 3). The English dart board may further include a bullseye and a double-bullseye, commonly referred to as a cork and a double-cork, respectively. The cork may be worth 25 points and the double-cork may be worth 50 points.

[0003]In "01" games, players typically begin with a score ending in 01 (e.g., 301, 501, 601, 801, 1001, etc.) and compete by endeavoring to be the first player to reduce his or her respective overall score to zero. More specifically, each player may take alternating turns shooting darts and may be allocated three consecutive dart shots per turn. The number of points earned on each dart shot may be subtracted from the shooting player's overall score. When the player's overall score is less than or equal to the maximum number of points that can be earned in one turn (e.g., the maximum number of points possible using three darts), the player may identify a sequence of shots, or "out-shots," whose sum equals the overall score, thereby enabling him or her to reach zero and win the match.

[0004]In addition to requiring a winning player to be the first to reach an overall score of zero, the rules of the game may also require a double-out. In other words, the winning player must finish the game with a double throw (i.e., a double-score). For example, if the player has an overall score of 73, the player may win the game by hitting a triple-19 (T19) and a double-8 (D8), for a total of 73 points. Alternatively, the player may win the game by hitting a triple-11 (T11) and a double-20 (D20). Thus, for any given overall score there may be multiple, alternative out-shot sequences. The player's selection of an out-shot sequence may be a function of the particular rules of the game (e.g., the winning player must finish with a double-score instead of a single-score) and the player's shot preference, shooting strategy, and/or level of experience. For example, if the rules of the game require that the winner finish with a double throw and the player is skilled at hitting double-8 (D8), the player with an overall score of 73 may prefer an out-shot sequence that includes a triple-19 (T19) and double-8 (D8) over one that includes a triple-11 (T11) and a double-20 (D20).

[0005]Determining an out-shot sequence for a particular overall score typically requires a series of calculations (e.g., multiplying and/or adding dart scores and then subtracting the product or total from an overall score). Because the overall score may have more than one viable out-shot sequence, a player may be required to perform numerous calculations to identify each possible alternative. In addition, the player may need to re-calculate the out-shot sequence each time the player's overall score changes due to a missed shot. For example, if the player has an overall score of 73 and aims for a triple-19 (T19) on the first shot but hits a triple-7 (T7) instead, the player may have to recalculate the out-shot sequence for the remaining two shots based on a remaining, overall score of 52. Thus, if the player still wants to finish with a double-8 (D8), the out-shot sequence for the player's remaining two shots may include a double-18 (D18) and a double-8 (D8), for a total of 52 points.

[0006]Some players may find such calculations to be tedious or cumbersome, while others may find themselves prone to arithmetic errors during times of pressure, such as during competitive events. Therefore, there is a need for a device that enables a dart player to conveniently and accurately determine an optimal out-shot sequence, or alternative out-shot sequences, based on the player's overall score and/or shot preference.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007]The described embodiments contemplate a computer-readable medium, device and system for calculating an out-shot sequence in a game of darts. In one embodiment, the computer-readable medium may include computer-executable instructions for receiving an overall score associated with a player's game, computing an out-shot sequence based on the overall score, and outputting the out-shot sequence to the player. The out-shot sequence may include a plurality of dart scores having a sum that is equal to the overall score. In another embodiment, the computer-readable medium may include computer-executable instructions for receiving a default out-shot preference and/or a specific out-shot preference and computing the out-shot sequence based on the default out-shot preference, the specific out-shot preference, or both.

[0008]The device may include an input component, a processing component, and an output component. The input component may receive an overall score from the player. The processing component may be in communication with the input component and may execute software instructions for computing an out-shot sequence based on the overall score. The output component may be in communication with the input component and the processing component and may provide the out-shot sequence to the player. The input component may further receive an out-shot preference from the player and the processing component may compute the out-shot sequence based on the overall score and the out-shot preference.

[0009]The system may include a website that is accessible to the player via a communications network and a server that is in communication with the website. The website may receive an overall score from the player and the server may execute software instructions for computing an out-shot sequence based on the overall score. The server may display the out-shot sequence on the website.

[0010]This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used as an aid in determining the scope of the claimed subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011]The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, is better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purposes of illustration, there is shown in the drawings example embodiments; however, the invention is not limited to the specific methods and instrumentalities disclosed. In the drawings:

[0012]FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example device for computing an out-shot sequence in a game of darts;

[0013]FIG. 2 is an isometric illustration of an example device according to an embodiment;

[0014]FIG. 3 is a diagram of an example system in which aspects of the invention may be implemented; and

[0015]FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate a flow diagram of an example method for computing an out-shot sequence in a game of darts.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

[0016]The inventive subject matter is described with specificity to meet statutory requirements. However, the description of the preferred embodiments itself is not intended to limit the scope of this patent. Moreover, although the term "step" may be used herein to connote different elements of methods employed, the term should not be interpreted as requiring any particular order among or between various steps herein disclosed unless otherwise stated.

[0017]FIG. 1 is a block diagram of example device 100 for computing an optimal out-shot sequence in a game of darts, such as English darts, for example. Device 100 may assist dart players in learning how to quickly and accurately calculate an out-shot sequence and to end a game using the fewest number of darts. In addition, device 100 may provide dart players potential out-shot sequences based on general shooting principles and/or personal shooting preferences and strategies.

[0018]A dart player may enter his or her remaining overall score into device 100. The dart player may also enter a score for a particular turn and device 100 may calculate the remaining overall score. Device 100 may also automatically compute and provide a suggested out-shot sequence to the player based on the inputted or calculated remaining score.

[0019]For example, in an "01," game of English darts, each of the player's dart scores may be subtracted from the player's overall score. If the player is first in reducing his or her overall score to zero, the player may win the game. Thus, the out-shot sequence may be a series of two or more dart scores that, when added together, have a total score that is equal the player's overall score. Each dart score in the out-shot sequence computed by device 100 may be a single-score, a double-score, a triple-score, or a zero-score (e.g., a single-10 (S10) may be worth 10 points, a double-10 (D10) worth 20 points, and a triple-10 worth 30 points). If the player hits each dart score in the suggested out-shot sequence computed by device 100, the player may reduce his or her overall score to zero and win the game.

[0020]In addition to being the first player to reach zero, the rules of the game may also require the winning player to hit a double-score on the last shot that reduces the player's score to zero. Thus, if the player has a remaining overall score of 45, for example, device 100 may compute an out-shot sequence that includes a single-5 (S5) and a double-20 (D20), for a total of 45 points. If the player misses the single-5 (S5) on the first shot and hits a double-20 (D20) instead, the player's overall score is reduced to 5 with two dart shots remaining. The player may input the score on the first shot (i.e., a double-20 (D20) worth 40 points) into device 100, which may re-compute an out-shot sequence for the remaining two shots that includes a single-1 (S1) and a double-2 (D2).

[0021]Device 100 may compute an optimum out-shot sequence based on any number of general strategies or principles. For example, because darts typically have an arcuate trajectory, a dart player may have a greater probability of hitting a double-score on a vertical throw, such as double-6 (D6) or double-11 (D11), than a horizontal throw, such as double-3 (D3) or double-20 (D20). Thus, device 100 may compute a suggested out-shot sequence that maximizes the number of vertical throws and/or minimizes the number of horizontal throws.

[0022]Device 100 may include input component 102, memory component 104, processing component 106, output component 108, and software program 110. Device 100 may be a special purpose computing device (i.e., limited to computing out-shot sequences and/or other game-related tasks). For example, device 100 may include or may be incorporated into an electronic dart board system, which may have a target face and a processor for automatically determining a shot score based on a location of the player's dart on the target face. The processing component may then compute the player's overall score based on the player's dart score(s). The electronic dart board system may utilize steel tip or soft tip darts. Device 100 may also be a general purpose computing device, such as a cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant (PDA), a desktop personal computer (PC), and a portable PC or laptop.

[0023]Input component 102 may be any suitable hardware for entering game-related information, such as a player's overall score and/or shot preferences, into device 100. For example, input component 102 may include a keypad, a keyboard, a touch screen, a scroll wheel, a speech recognition module, a target face of an electronic dart board, and the like. Input component 102 may provide interrupts to software operating on device 100 such that any inputs received via input component 102 are processed immediately by processing component 106.

[0024]Information that is entered via input component 102 may be stored in memory component 104, which may include random access memory (RAM), read only memory (ROM), and programmable read only memory (PROM), and the like. Memory component 104 may be physically integrated into device 100 and/or removably attached. For example, device 100 may include an integrated internal memory module and/or a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card. Thus, information stored on memory component 104 may be easily transported from device to device. In addition to storing information entered via input component 102, memory component 104 may also store executable software instructions, such as software program 110, which may be adapted to perform predetermined computing tasks.

[0025]For example, software program 110 may include executable software instructions for automatically computing an optimal out-shot sequence based on a player's remaining overall score, shooting strategy, and/or shot preference. Program 110 may be executed via processing component 106, which may be any suitable type of processor for performing arithmetic calculations. After the out-shot sequence is computed via processing component 106, the out-shot sequence may be provided to a user via output component 108, which may be a visual display, such as a liquid crystal display (LCD), or an audio output device, such as a speaker.

[0026]FIG. 2 is an isometric illustration of example device 100 according to an embodiment. As shown in FIG. 2, device 100 may be a special purpose, portable hand-held device. Device 100 may include housing 112, which may be made of any suitable material, such as metal or plastic. Device 100 may also include an internal and/or external power source (not shown) and power switch 114 for turning device 100 on and off. Device 100 may include slot 116 for facilitating portability. For example, slot 116 may be adapted to receive at least a portion of a belt, string, cord, or retractable tether, thereby enabling a player to easily secure device 100 and to prevent device 100 from becoming lost or stolen.

[0027]As shown in FIG. 2, device 100 may include keypad 118, which may further include number keys 118a and option/control keys 118b. Number keys 118a may be used to input information into device 100. For example, number keys 118a may be used to input an overall score or a score for a particular turn. Option/control keys 118b may be used to select, enter, and/or manipulate information, such as the turn score, overall score, and/or a computed out-shot sequence, stored in device 100. Option/control keys 118b may include one or more keys for up, down, left, right, enter, initiate numeric/score input and lock.

[0028]Device 100 may also include score display 120 and out-shot display 122 for displaying the remaining overall score and the out-shot sequence, respectively. Score display 120 may be capable of displaying any predetermined number of digits and/or range of numbers. For example, score display 120 may display any number from 2 to 170, which may correspond to the minimum and maximum number of points, respectively, in which a game requiring a double-out may be won using one or more darts in a single turn. Out-shot display 122 may include two or more fields, each corresponding to a particular dart score. For example, out-shot display 122 may include three dart score fields, one for each dart shot in a three-shot turn. Each field in out-shot display 122 may be a composite field and, therefore, may display a number and a character representing a multiplier. The number may correspond to one of the twenty numbered sections of a dart board. The number may also correspond to a cork or double-cork. The multiplier may be a letter "S," "D," or "T," corresponding to a single, double, or triple, respectively. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, the first field in out-shot display 122 may be a triple-17 (T17), worth 51 points, the second field may be a single-20 (S20), worth 20 points, and the third field may a double-16 (D16), worth 32 points, for a total of 103 points.

[0029]In one embodiment, software program 110 may be configured for a game of 301, for example, in which competing players each begin with a score of 301, though it will be appreciated that any initial score (e.g., 501, 601, 801, 1001, etc.) may be used while remaining consistent with an embodiment. Under the rules of the game, the players may take alternating turns shooting darts and may each be allocated three consecutive dart shots per turn. After each turn, the three dart scores may be added up and the total subtracted from the players' respective overall score. The first player to reduce his or her overall score from 301 to zero will win the game. In addition, the rules may require the winning player to hit a double-score (e.g., a double-twenty (D20)) on the last shot. Thus, if the highest possible double-score on a dart board is a double-cork, worth 50 points, and the game requires a double-throw to win, the maximum number of points that may be scored in an out-shot sequence using three darts may be 170 points (i.e., a triple-twenty (T20), a triple-twenty (T20), and a double-cork (DB)). If the player's overall score is 99 or 101 through 170, the out-shot sequence may include three dart shots. If the player's overall score 2 through 98 or 100, the out-shot sequence may include two dart shots, though it will be appreciated that the out-shot sequence for an overall score of 2 through 98 or 100 may also include three dart shots.

[0030]As noted above, numerous out-shot sequences may exist for a given overall score. Thus, it would be desirable to enable a player to receive suggested out-shot sequences that conform with a player's individual shooting strategy and/or shot preference in addition to any general game strategies or principles. For example, in one embodiment, a player may enter and store his or her default out-shot preferences into device 100 via keypad 118. Each time processing component 106 computes a suggested out-shot sequence, it may filter out sequences that do not conform to the player's default out-shot preferences. Thus, device 100 may use the player's default shot preferences to provide relevant out-shot sequences more quickly and accurately. For example, if the player's default out-shot preference indicates that the player disfavors double-12 (D12), device 100 may not compute and/or display out-shot sequences that include double-12 (D12) unless no other alternatives are available. Similarly, if the player's default out-shot preference indicates that the player favors double-15 (D15), device 100 may initially attempt to compute and display out-shot sequences that include double-15 (D15). If double-15 (D15) is not a viable alternative (e.g., the player's overall score is less than 30), device 100 may then provide other out-shot sequences that do not conform to the player's default out-shot preferences.

[0031]During any point in the game, the player may input his or her remaining overall score into device 100 via number keys 118a or the player may input a score after each turn and the device may calculate the remaining score. For example, after the player inputs a score from the player's last turn, processing component 106 may compute a remaining overall score of 45. The overall score may be displayed on score display 120. Processing component 106 may also execute software program 110 and compute an out-shot sequence based on the remaining score and any default shot preferences stored in memory component 104. For example, if processing component 106 computes an overall score of 45 and the player's default out-shot preference indicates a preference for double-20 (D20), processing component 106 may compute an out-shot sequence that includes a single-5 (S5) and a double-20 (D20). The out-shot sequence may then be displayed on out-shot display 122. If the player hits each shot in the sequence during the next turn, the player may win the game.

[0032]If the player does not like the out-shot sequence displayed on out-shot display 122, the player may elect to receive a different out-shot sequence using option keys 118b. More specifically, the player may use option keys 118b to re-compute and/or display alternative out-shot sequences on device 100. For example, option keys 118b may include a scroll key that enables the player to scroll through alternative out-shot sequences computed by processing component 106 in order to locate a more preferable out-shot sequence. If, for example, the player with an overall score of 45 prefers to shoot a double-18 (D18) final out-shot instead of a double-20 (D20), the player may scroll through the alternative out-shot sequences until the desired sequence (e.g., a single-9 (S9) and a double-18 (D18)) is displayed on out-shot display 122.

[0033]In another embodiment, the player may use option keys 118b to select and modify one or more dart scores in the suggested out-shot sequence displayed on out-shot display 122 based on a specific shot preference. Processing component 106 may then re-compute the remaining dart scores based on the changes made by the player. For example, as noted above, processing component 106 may initially compute an out-shot sequence that includes a single-5 (S5) and a double-20 (D20) if the player has an overall score of 45. If the player prefers to shoot a double-18 (D18) final out-shot instead of a double-20 (D20), the player may use option keys 118b to select double-20 (D20) on out-shot display 122 and to change it to double-18 (D18). Processing component 106 may then re-compute the first score in the sequence based on the final out-shot of double-18 (D18). The re-computed out-shot sequence may include a single-9 (S9) and a double-18 (D18), for a total of 45 points.

[0034]In addition to making changes according to shot preferences, the player may also use option keys 11 8b to re-compute an out-shot sequence if the player has missed a particular shot in the sequence. Thus, if the player has an overall score of 45 and device 100 initially computes and displays an out shot sequence that includes a single-5 (S5) and a double-20 (D20), the player may use option keys 118b to select single-5 (S5) and change it to a single-12 (S12) if that is what the player actually scored on the first shot. Processing component 106 may then re-compute the remaining two dart scores in the sequence based on the change. For example, the re-computed out-shot sequence may include a single-12 (S12), a single-3 (S3), and a double-15 (D15), for a total of 45 points.

[0035]If the player has an overall score of 120, for example, device 100 may compute an out-shot sequence that includes a triple-20 (T20), double-20 (D20), and a double-10 (D10). If the player prefers to begin the out-shot sequence with a double-15 (D15) instead of a triple-20 (T20), the player may use option keys 118b to select triple-20 (T20) on out-shot display 122 and change it to a double-15 (D15). Processing component 106 may then re-compute the out-shot sequence, which may include a double-15 (D15), a double-20 (D20), and a double-cork (DB), for a total of 120 points. If the player prefers to finish the out-shot sequence with a double-15 (D15) instead of a double-cork (DB), the player may use option keys 118b to lock in double-15 (D15) as the first dart shot and to select double-cork (DB) and change it to double-15 (D15). Processing component 106 may then re-compute the second dart score in the out-shot sequence based on the beginning out-shot of double-15 (D15) and the final out-shot of double-15 (D15). The re-computed out-shot sequence may be a double-15 (D15), a triple-20 (T20), and a double-15 (D15), for example. It will be appreciated that option keys 118b may be used to select and modify any combination of dart scores listed in the out-shot sequence, thereby enabling the player to quickly and accurately customize the suggested out-shot sequence based on his or her remaining overall score and specific shot preferences.

[0036]In addition to computing out-shot sequences, device 100 may also include executable software instructions for various modes of play. For example, a player may use numeric keys 118a and/or option keys 118b on device 100 to select a practice mode and/or a game mode. In the practice mode, device 100 may execute software instructions (not shown in FIG. 1) stored in memory component 104 to generate and display one or more practice dart shots on out-shot display 122. The player may attempt to hit each dart shot displayed on device 100 in order to improve shooting accuracy. The player may use number keys 118a and/or option keys 118b to continuously generate and display different practice shots on device 100. Device 100 may generate and display practice shots randomly or in a predetermined order. For example, when generating practice shots, device 100 may sequence through each dart shot according numerical order (e.g., from 1 to 20). In addition, device 100 may sequence through single-throws first (e.g., start with a single-1 (S1)) and finish with triple-throws (e.g., finish with a triple-20 (T20)), or vice-versa. Alternatively, device 100 may randomly generate only double-throws. It will be appreciated that any predetermined sequence may be used while remaining consistent with an embodiment.

[0037]Device 100 may also be used to track the player's accuracy and/or average score in practice mode. Thus, if device 100 generates and displays ten different practice dart shots, the player may use number keys 118a and/or option keys 118b to enter his or her ten practice scores into device 100, which may store the scores in memory component 104. Device 100 may then compute the player's accuracy based on the player's number of missed shots. Device 100 may also compute the player's average dart score by averaging all of the player's actual scores during a practice mode session. Thus, device 100 may enable the player to better analyze and assess his or her strengths, weaknesses and overall skill level.

[0038]In the game mode, the player may initiate a dart game with device 100 serving as the opposing player. More specifically, after the game mode is initiated, the player and device 100 may start with a score of 501, for example. After the player completes his or her turn, the player may enter the turn score into device 100, which may subtract the turn score from the player's overall score to determine the player's remaining, overall score. Device 100 may then generate, either randomly or according to a predetermined set of criteria, its own turn score and compute its overall, remaining score. The player and device 100 may alternate turns until either the player or device 100 is the first to reach zero and win the game.

[0039]As noted above, device 100 may generate its own turn score according to a predetermined set of criteria, which may be based on different levels of play that correspond to the player's skill level. For example, the game mode in device 100 may have a beginner's level, an intermediate level and an advanced level. Each level may affect how device 100 generates its own turn scores in the game mode. Thus, in generating its turn scores, device 100 may be more likely to have higher dart scores and/or have greater shooting accuracy when operating in an advanced game mode. Conversely, device 100 may generally have lower dart scores and/or have less accuracy when operating in a beginner's game mode. Thus, the player may select an appropriate level in the game mode with which to compete against device 100.

[0040]It will also be appreciated that embodiments of the invention may be implemented in the form of any of a variety of computer readable media. Computer readable media can be any media that can be accessed by device 100, including both volatile and nonvolatile, removable and non-removable media.

[0041]Device 100 may operate in a networked environment, either wired or wireless, using logical connections to one or more remote computers. The remote computer may be a personal computer, a server, a router, a network PC, a peer device or other common network node, and typically includes many or all of the elements described above relative to device 100. The logical connections may include a local area network (LAN) and a wide area network (WAN), but may also include other networks. Such networking environments may be common in offices, enterprise-wide computer networks, intranets, and the Internet. When used in a LAN networking environment, device 100 may be connected to the LAN through a network interface, for example. When used in a WAN networking environment, device 100 may include a modem for establishing communications over the WAN, such as the Internet.

[0042]Device 100 may be deployed as part of a computer network. In this regard, the present invention pertains to any computer system having any number of memory or storage units, and any number of applications and processes occurring across any number of storage units or volumes. An embodiment of the present invention may apply to an environment with server computers and client computers deployed in a network environment, having remote or local storage. The present invention may also apply to a standalone computing device, having programming language functionality, interpretation and execution capabilities.

[0043]FIG. 3 illustrates an example system 200 in which aspects of the present invention may be implemented. System 200 may include devices 100a, 100b, communications network 205, and website 220. Device 100a may be a non-portable computing device, such as a desktop PC. Device 100b may be a portable computing device, such as a cellular telephone, a PDA, a laptop PC, and the like. Devices 100a, 100b may run commercially available web browser and/or e-mail applications, which may allow devices 100a, 100b to view and receive information from website 220. Communications network 205 may include an intranet, the Internet, a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN), a public switched telephone network (PSTN), a cellular network, a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) network, and the like.

[0044]Website 220 may include server computer 210, which may host webpage 215. In addition, server computer 210 may store software program 110. It will be appreciated that webpage 220 may include any number of webpages and may be implemented using multiple server computers, which may be geographically remote from one another. In addition, website 220 may also include one or more databases (not shown) and other back-end components (not shown) to generate and/or format webpage 215. Server computer 210 may include one or more web server applications (not shown) and database server system software (not shown) to generate webpages and/or store information in response to inputs received from devices 100a, 100b via communications network 205.

[0045]In one embodiment, devices 100a, 100b may access server computer 210 via communications network 205 and download program 110 into memory component 104. As noted above, processing component 106 of devices 100a, 100b may then execute program 110 from memory component 104 and compute a suggested out-shot sequence based on a player's remaining overall score and/or shot preferences.

[0046]In another embodiment, devices 100a, 100b may receive the player's overall score and/or out-shot preferences via input component 102. Processing component 106 of devices 100a, 100b may then send such information, along with a processing request, to server computer 210 via communications network 205. Server computer 210 may execute software program 110 and compute a suggested out-shot sequence based on the information received from devices 100a, 100b. Server computer 210 may then send the computed out-shot sequence to devices 100a, 100b over communications network 205. The out-shot sequence may be conveyed to the player via output component 108. Alternatively, server computer 210 may display the computed out-shot sequence on webpage 215, which may be viewed on output component 108 of devices 100a, 100b via communications network 205.

[0047]FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate a flow diagram of an example method 400 for calculating an out-shot sequence in a game of darts. As shown in FIG. 4A, at 405, input component 102 of device 100 may receive one or more default out-shot preferences from a player. The default out-shot preference may define one or more preferred and/or non-preferred dart scores. For example, the player may be skilled at hitting double-12 and, therefore, may prefer that any suggested out-shot sequence include at least one double-12, if possible. Alternatively, the player may not be skilled at hitting double-13 and, therefore, may prefer that any suggested out-shot sequence not include a double-13 (D13). The default out-shot preference may also define the order of the preferred dart score in the out-shot sequence. For example, the player may prefer hitting a double-12 on the last shot in the sequence. Accordingly, the player's default out-shot preferences may help narrow down the range of possible out-shot sequences for a given overall score, thereby enabling device 100 to identify preferable out-shot sequences more quickly and accurately.

[0048]At 410, it may be determined whether a score associated with the player's turn was received via input component 102 of device 100. If the turn score is received, the process may proceed to 415 where processing component 106 of device 100 may compute an overall score based on the turn score. For example, if the player scored 100 points on the last turn had an overall score of 178 prior thereto, the 100 points may be entered into device 100, which may subtract the 100 points from the 178 points to arrive at a remaining overall score of 78 points. If the turn score was not received at 410, the process may proceed to 420 where it may be determined whether the overall score was received. For example, as noted above, if the player scored 100 points during the last turn with an overall score of 178, the player may subtract 100 from 178 and enter the remainder (i.e., 78 points) into device 100 via input component 102. At 420, if the overall score was not received, the process may proceed to 425 where device 100 may remain in an idle mode until it receives a score from the player.

[0049]If the overall score is computed at 415 or received at 420, the process may proceed to 430 where processing component 106 of-device 100 may compute an out-shot sequence based on the overall score and any default preferences, if set by the player. For example, if the player has an remaining overall score of 78 and the rules require that the player finish with a double-throw to win the game, processing component 106 may compute an out-shot sequence that includes a double-14 (D14) and a double-cork (DB), for a total of 78 points. If the player's default out-shot preference indicates that the player prefers double-18 (D18), processing component 106 may initially compute an out-shot sequence that includes a triple-14 (T14) and a double-18 (D18).

[0050]As shown in FIG. 4B, at 435, output component 108 of device 100 may display the out-shot sequence to the player. Output component 108 may also be an audio speaker and, therefore, may produce the out-shot sequence to the player as an audio sound. At 440, input component 102 of device 100 may receive specific out-shot preferences from the player. For example, if processor component 106 computes an out-shot sequence that includes a triple-14 (T14) and a double-18 (D18) and the player prefers to start out the sequence with a triple-16 (T16) instead of a triple-14 (T14), the player may use input component 102 to scroll through alternative out-shot sequences computed by processing component 106 until the desired out-shot sequence (e.g., a triple-16 (T16) and a double-15 (D15)) is displayed on output component 108.

[0051]The player may also use input component 102 to manually select and change one or more dart scores in the out-shot sequence. At 445, processing component 106 may then re-compute the remaining dart scores in the out-shot sequence based on the changes made by the player. For example, if the player inputs a remaining overall score of 78 and processing component 106 computes an out-shot sequence that includes a triple-14 (T14) and a double-18 (D18), the player may manually select the double-18 (D18) displayed on output component 108 and change it to a double-15 (D15). At 450, processing component 106 may then re-compute the first score in the out-shot sequence based on an overall score of 78 and a last dart score of double-15 (D15). Thus, the re-computed out-shot sequence may include a triple-16 (T16) and a double-15 (D15), for a total of 78 points.

[0052]As noted above, the player may also change one of the dart scores due to a missed shot. For example, if the player shoots and misses the triple-16 (T16) on the first shot and instead hits a triple-19 (T19), the player may use input-component 102 to manually select the triple-16 (T16) displayed on output component 108 and change it to a triple-19 (T19). Processing component 106 may then re-compute the second and third dart scores in the out-shot sequence based on the overall score of 78 and a first dart score of triple-19 (T19). Thus, the re-computed out-shot sequence may include a triple-19 (T19), a single-3 (S3), and a double-9 (D9), for a total of 78 points. The re-computed out-shot sequence may be displayed on output component 108.

[0053]While the present invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments of the various figures, it is to be understood that other similar embodiments may be used or modifications and additions may be made to the described embodiment for performing the same function of the present invention without deviating there from. Therefore, the present invention should not be limited to any single embodiment, but rather construed in breadth and scope in accordance with the appended claims.

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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20080088090 A1
Publish Date
04/17/2008
Document #
11582282
File Date
10/17/2006
USPTO Class
273371
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
41J5/00
Drawings
6



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