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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Two teams, one or two players per team. Game consists of 12 rounds, each team playing one wink in each round. The pot is to be placed one foot from edge of table and three feet from the baselines. Teams alternate going first in rounds, team squidging in first also going first on pot attempts. Squidge-in winner scores one point unless their wink went off the table (no point awarded). Teams alternate shots until both winks are potted. If both are potted on the same turn, no potting points. One fewer miss scores one point, otherwise two points to quicker potter. A wink potted from the line counts as minus one miss, a wink going off table causes a loss of turn and counts as an additional miss. If score is tied after 12 winks, two wink playoff is used until tie is broken.

With three players a different scoring scheme is used. Points are now undesirable (as in golf). Score one point for not winning squidge-in, and one point for each pot miss to a maximum of six misses. Game consists of 18 rounds (golf holes). Squidge-in order is to be in order of score on previous wink, subsequent potting attempts to be made by wink furthest from not.


Official championship played outdoors, with non-standard equipment and number of winks. Pot is placed 24 inches from baseline. Score 10 points for any potted wink, 5 points for bouncing out of pot, 3 points for hitting pot on the fly, and 1 point for bouncing into side of pot. No second shots are used on any wink. Total score for one's 12 (or 20) winks is used to determine winner. Players alternate, shooting ¼ of their winks in a given round.


N players, with or without partners. Each player has six winks (of one colour) and starts about two feet from pot. Placement of baselines is determined by quantity of players. A square formation can be used for four players; with three players all should start on the short side of the table. Two players game is usually played with each player using two colours and both players shooting from same side of table.

Game starts by all players simultaneously squidging in all of their winks without looking where they are going as quickly as is comfortable. Closest wink determines first shooter, play then proceeding by a prearranged colour order. Extra shots are awarded for potting one's own wink, game ends when one colour has potted out. A wink may be played even when squopped, providing the wink can be shot without one's squidger touching the squopping wink


Three players. Same as Chips & Spam except that a fourth colour is added, being placed in a five inch circle around the pot prior to the massive squidge in. These extra winks, called rovers or beans, may be shot by any player as long as they are not involved in a squop of a nonbean. No extra turn is given for potting a bean. If the last remaining wink of any colour has been totaled - squopped such that it is not playable - the squopped player may either pass or shoot beans. On his fourth turn after being in this predicament, the totaled wink is removed to the baseline and may be played. If the wink is partially detotaled during the three turn wait, Squopped player may attempt shot or wait until fourth turn.


N players, usually 2. Twenty-four winks are placed three feet from pot, pot is set 12 inches from edge of table. If possible use a playable area beyond and besides the regular mat - a carpet or perhaps part of the mat over a non-smooth surface, preferably slightly lower than the rest of the playing field.

A player can shoot any wink on their turn, either ones still on the baseline or those already used but not potted, regardless of who first shot the wink. However, any already used wink must land within 12 inches of the pot on subsequent shots, or it is -taut {autt. If such happens the next player receives a bonus shot with the offended wink and then their normal turn. If the bonus shot is potted, player receives an additional bonus shot with the wink farthest from pot. If a player faults more than once on his turn, next player receives as many shots as have been faulted before taking their usual turn. Game has been played with fixed positions of the participants (except for bonus shots) by mutual agreement prior to start of game.


Two players, 12 winks each starting 18 inches from pot placed at the corner of the table. Winks shot off table go back to base fine with a penalty of one missed turn. Winks potted from outside of the marked area are worth two bonus shots; from inside or on the line, one shot. First player to pot their 12 winks wins.

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N players, each player has ten turns. A turn consists of potting winks until a miss, emptying pot before the turn and whenever all 24 winks have been potted. Score is total number of winks potted. Descriptive terms are applied to various lengths of streaks. Game can be played with either a specified minimum distance for pot attempts, or with no restrictions on placement of winks.


Two or more players. Twenty-four winks are scattered around the pot. Players commence to pot on the command go and continue to shoot as rapidly as they so desire until only one wink remains unposted Players then alternate shots in some originally agreed upon order until this wink too is potted. Games can be played using many such rounds, computing score either by cumulative total of winks potted, total of round score determined by standings on each round for highest number of winks potted (perhaps 4 for first, 2 for second, 1 for third, etc.) or a combination of the two (winks potted plus a bonus score for standing on round).


Two players, with six or more winks apiece. Pot is placed 18 inches from each player's baseline. Squidge off to determine going first. Play alternates, extra turn for successful pots. No squopping allowed, squops moved aside from opponent's winks but not from one's own wink. Winner is first to pot out. Game can also be played with squopping and subsequent free turns on squop outs.


Two players. Four sets of six winks (three for each player) are placed in lines at 12, 10, 8 and 6 inches from the pot. Players attempt pots, scoring 1 point for each wink and continuing until a miss or by choice (see below). Until a player has attempted all remaining winks from his 12 on any given set up (a game consists of at least two set ups), he must shoot a wink from his farthest remaining line. Thereafter a player can try any wink - either those already missed or any opponent wink. If a player does not wish to try any of the remaining winks on a break (assume K winks are left), they can accept a K point reduction of their score. If opponent is unable to pot any of the unposted winks, passing player shoots first on the next break. If opponent's attempt is successful, this player shoots until a miss on the remaining winks and then starts the next set up. Game is played to 25 points but after one player completes the turn on which they surpassed 25, the opponent receives one turn to catch up. If both players pass 25, game is played until a 3 point margin survives the catch up turn.


N players with player order established prior to start of game. There are two kinds of turns - optional and obligatory. On an optional turn a player sets up and attempts some kind of pot - potting a specified wink out of pile or from a specified distance or manner of shooting. If the shot misses, next player also has an optional turn. If shot was made, next player has an obligatory turn and must attempt the same shot. Penalty for missing an obligatory shot is a letter, H for first miss, O R S E for subsequent misses, with player exiting game after receiving the E. When obligatory shots are converted, next player must also attempt the shot until all N players have attempted the shot. If the shot returns to the original shooter, they lose a turn and the next player has an optional shot. No player may use any optional shot on a set up that they have successfully negotiated three times on optional turns in the current game. Play until only one player remains alive. Game can be either shortened or lengthened by changing the name of the game (i.e., PIG or LAMPREY).


Potting practice can easily be done in a non-game situation, essentially in a solitare manner. Just scattering the winks and potting them from where they lie is a simple form of practice. One variation on this theme is to place all winks in the pot, invert and remove the pot in such a manner as to leave all the winks in one pile that would not be disturbed by putting back the pot on top of it. The pot is then placed where it would seem to most facilitate potting. Count how many shots are required to pot all 24 winks (using only legal strokes). Scores as low as 26 for one round and 55 for two rounds have been reported.

One method of evaluating accuracy would be a potting profile - a fixed number of winks shot from various distances. One such profile consists of 10 shots from a distance of one small wink from base of pot, 20 shots from 25 inches (to centre of pot), 25 from four inches, 25 from six inches, 15 from nine inches, and 5 from 12 inches. Record score for small winks is 94.

Other miscellaneous potting records include 110 large winks potted in one minute using 8 winks and one pot. The record for unlimited winks and unlimited pots is 159 small winks in one minute. For simultaneously potting winks with both hands, 37 straight (74 winks) from three inches is the high. The record for consecutive squidgers is 89. The idiot's delight record, using only eight large winks is 26 straight pots. The record for large winks potted from 3 inches holding squidger with a foot is 55 out of 100. The most winks potted simultaneously behind one's back is 2 (done by several players).

The NATwA record for 12 small winks from three feet is 24 shots. The speed record for 24 small winks from 18 inches is 32.5 seconds. The four pot relay record is 36. All three of these marks are inferior to the top British performances. No North American attempts at the 10,000 potted winks record have been reported.

Another form of practice is to shoot repeatedly from a fixed distance. The following is a table of records from various distances.

2" 4" 6" 9" 12"
Consecutive ??? 593 274 128 49 12
Out of 50 ?? 50 50 50 49 39
Out of 100 45 100 100 100 92 73
Out of 250 --- 250 250 244 219 167
Out of 500 --- 500 497 483 425 316
Consecutive 18 325 248 71 16 7
Out of 50 43 50 50 50 40 29
Out of 100 82 100 100 98 79 54
Out of 250 172 250 249 234 --- ---
Out of 500 --- 496 494 464 --- ---

From a distance of one small wink to base of pot, a streak of 106 in a row and 244 out of 250 has been achieved. Best score on 1000 winks at any distance is 996 from 2½ inches.

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

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