Stroboscopic photo of a wink being potted in the game of tiddlywinks The North American Tiddlywinks Association
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Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents

A compendium of tiddlywinks perversions by Sunshine, February 1976

Table of contents


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This game is one of the most entertaining games for youth and adults. As many person can partake of the game as there are colours. The large chips are called nippers and the small one sprinters.

Each player receives one large chip and some small chips. At the beginning of the game place the cup in the centre of the table, which had best be covered with a rather heavy tablecloth. Each player places the sprinters on the table in equal distance from the cup. Now each player in his turns nipps once, which means he presses with the large chip on the edge of the small chip, so that this jumps into the cup. Those who have succeeded to get there sprinter into the cup, are allowed to nipp once more. If it happens that the chips of two players come to lay on each other, the player of the lower chip is not allowed to play his chip until the chip that lays above it, has been nipped off by its owner. It is not permitted in the interest of the game, to cover other players chips intentionally, as this would mean a hardship for the players, whose chips are covered, which is not intended. Should a chip jump off the table, it must be replaced at its starting point and must be played from there new. The player who gets all his chips first into the cup, has won. The stake can be fixed according to the players liking; its may be agreed that the winner collects a certain fine from every player, according to the chips still held.

The game can also be played by partners so that two persons sitting opposite each other play together. In this case it is allowed for the two partners to play each others colours, so as to use the winning possibilities to the greatest extent possible.


Potting game played by two pairs with normal playing rules except for several major differences. Normal playing surface and starting positions are used, but four pots forming a square are placed at the centre of the mat. The edges of the pots are to be touching, thus forming a small unplayable area in the middle of the mat.

The game does not end when the first player pots out, squopping never ceases during play and no time limit is used. Also, a wink landed in the area between the pots is considered potted. Each player has their own pot (the one farthest away from their corner) but winks landing in other pots are still considered potted.

Scoring takes place when any player has their last wink potted. At these times each player receives one point for each of their own winks in their pot, ½ point for any other winks living there, and 0 for any wink in the middle section. The player potted out receives four points if it's the first round (first pot out), two in the second, and 1 in the third (bonus points only in the round of the pot out). Play continues until one pair has all their winks potted. Usually three rounds of scoring will result but should one pair pot out first and second, the second round score is doubled. Each player's score for the game is the sum of their three round scores.

The score for the game can be calculated in two ways:

  1. the added scores for each partnership (average game has over 50 points)
  2. a 4-2-1 scoring for first, second and third place finished, one point transfer rule for potting out first and second.


Four colour game rules used with six colours with time limit increased to 37½ minutes plus five rounds (which take forever). Standard colour order is red-yellow-blue-green-white-purple. Score 11 points for first, 7 for second, 4 for third, 2 for fourth, 1 for fifth, with a 3 point transfer for games won by potting out. Game has many, many possible scores (over 30 including some with 1/6, 1/5, 1/4 fractional scores not possible in normal winks).


Five players, each with six winks. Fifth colour is usually either Cambridge blue or funny yellow (yellow winks from another set curiously marked by magic marker). The five players begin at points equidistant from each other and from the pot, arranged in the established colour order. Each player has two potential partners - those opposite him in original starting position, and two permanent enemies - those adjacent in starting position. No time limit is used, game is played until some partnership is in compleat control of all opponents (it is vaguely possible for one colour to win by itself). A wink potted is considered permanently squopped and one receives extra shots by potting any wink other than your own. The vital tactics of the game include squopping enemy winks and potting them in subsequent desquopping, and figuring out how to manipulate the plays of all enemies and potential partners to your own advantage. One's potential partners are themselves each other's enemy and each have one in-common enemy with you but are also friendlily disposed towards your other enemy. All of this leads to such things as temporary alliances, gang tactics, lying and betrayal.

Altogether, this is a fine game in which to vent your repressed tendencies but is not recommended for people with high blood pressure, asthma, paranoia, or toes. It is also a good solution to the problem of what to do when you have five players, all of whom wish to play. One further warning - the longest game on record lasted about four hours and was played with much loud strategy discussion.


Four colour game with partners. Players start in normal positions, using squidge off to determine who goes first. No time limit is used; game ends with one colour potting out. Main difference from basic game is that when a wink is squopped it is returned to its baseline. An extra shot is awarded not only for posting a wink but also for squopping any wink or for subbing under one's own wink.

Boondock can also be played without partners with any number of winkers. Same rules apply except that play continues to determine second, third, etc.


Regular four colour game played until one colour has potted out. Squopping then ceases and play continues for second and third but one point transfer rule is not used for scoring. Some games have lasted well over two hours and usual strategy is to pot some opponent winks./p>


Four colour game played with partners, each pair choosing their designated potter prior to the squidge-off. Normal rules apply save that game is to be won only by a pot out and that anytime a designated potter is squopping a wink, they must free the wink on their next shot.

Back to the table of contents of Sunshine's Alleghany Airlines Book Club Presents compendium of tiddlywinks perversions.

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