Many inventors of games (both board games and computer games) have indeed made fortunes from their inventions, though the odds are certainly against it. The first thing you should know is that you cannot patent a mere idea for a game, anymore than you can copyright a mere idea for a novel. (And it's important to understand the difference between a patent, a copyright and a trademark. That's all spelled out on the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; see Resources below). You need a detailed design to qualify for patent protection, and it must meet certain criteria. Once you've developed your idea, and think you are ready to present it to an eager public, here's how you proceed.