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


Illustration of a wink conquering another wink, thereby squopping it.  (The squopped wink says, "Ouch"


Miniwinks, or squop games, is a game in which two players, armed with an equal number of winks, take alternate shots in an attempt to completely squop their opponent. Multi-miniwinks occurs when four or more players play the game. Two partners will eventually win the four player game by squopping out the two opponents, but the partnerships are not fixed at the start of a game. The four mercenaries embark on a game, playing in colour order, and making and breaking partnerships as the game proceeds. It is not unusual for a player A to double-cross and squop his "partner" B (with whom he has maybe spent the last few rounds plotting the destruction of the other players C and D), thereby winning the game in partnership with either C or D.

A policy of carefully limited involvement in the early stages tends to pay off - by which I mean inducing the other players to "do the work"-. One method of controlling play is for a player to squop an enemy wink and at a later shot to chip it out on to, or near to any winks, pile or cluster that suits his purpose. The result may or may not be to the liking of the newly freed wink. If green squops red, and next shot chips red next to a pile containing blue and yellow winks, the effect is strongly invitational for red to squop his new companions immediately. This sequence of plays may form the basis of a win for green and red. On the other hand, if green squops a blue, and next shot chips the blue next to hostile winks, red or yellow will get a chance to resquop before blue gets a chance to play. Green, by this policy, is trying to get all three opponents deeply involved in piles, so that one of them can be selected later to partner him in victory.

Complete isolation (by running away) is not to be recommended, for at least three reasons. Firstly it is negative and boring for the player concerned, being rather like attempting to win a game by default. Secondly it lessens the enjoyment of the other players and can therefore ruin beautiful friendships, and thirdly it is rarely successful against opposition who can chip each other, as described above, to capture a renegrade wink.

The game can be generalised to allow for more than four players. The game for five produces two winners and three squopped victims, the six player game three of each, and with seven players three win and four lose.

With seven players there is much more room for low cunning, threats and treachery and players less technically gifted can often do surprisingly well, gaining from the intrigue and suspicion plying around among the other players. It can safely be said that the seven player game enables the participants to display, within the rules, the most deplorable forms of human behavior, of which the parent game is happily innocent. (The above account comes from The Winking World, number 23.)


Many variations on the simple squop game exist, involving various numbers of winks and winkers. The usual game is a two player one, each player having six winks, with turns being alternated until one player is squopped out. This game is played in a limited area with no loss of turn for far flying winks.

One simple change is to restrict boondocking - inflicting a loss of turn for shooting one's wink off the table, or giving an offended wink a bonus shot to come back into play. Another change that could be used only affects the scoring of a long series of squop games. Instead of scoring each game 1-0, score 1 point for winning plus 1 point for each free (uninvolved) wink.

A rule that leads to large strategy modifications is having each player declare (on the completion of their current shot) which free wink they wish to shoot on their next turn. If the chosen wink is squopped by the time the turn is to be taken. anY other free wink may be used instead.

Another possible addition is that of the pot. Pot-squop can be played with two or more players, each starting with six winks 18 inches from the pot. Extra turns are given for potting enemy winks. The game ends when one player is in complete control of everyone else, or, as some players prefer, when only one player remains alive. This game is carried on to even greater heights in in a partnership game known as Five Way Pot Squop (see Parent Game variations).

And then there is Super Wink squop games. Each player receives, in addition to the standard two large and four small winks, one squidger to do battle with the smaller winks.

A tennis style match can also be played. Squop games are played on a 5 versus 6 basis, players alternating who has the one small wink advantage (the serve). Play until 6 wins, by a margin of at least two games.Tie breaker for 6-6 match is a best 2 of 3 regular squop game series.

A complex strategical game, utilizing potentially great quantities of colour order finesses, is called Scramble Squop. All 24 winks are randomly scattered, with a minimum distance of 1½  inches between winks, and with non-scrambling (or shuffling) player picking his starting colour and thegame proceeding in normal colour order with the absence of the pot.

Several forms of squop games exist for play between non-equal players besides the obvious handicapping method of extra wink(s). One procedure is to start with a six on six game but instead of the game being overwhen the designated weaker player is squopped out," loser" receives an extra wink at their baseline. game continues in this fashion until weaker player squops out the opponent. rare occurences of six winks vanquishing 18 winks have been recorded.

And finally, there is that very confusing perversion 3-way, 2-way (or n + 1/n way for larger quantities of players). Simply use one more colour than there are players (3 players - four colours) and play with a fixed people order and a fixed colour order until one colour wins. Strange piles develop, players get to shoot with winks they shot at and missed on their previous turn, and an amusing effect shows up when a colour is squopped out. Reducing number of winks per colour makes the game more likely to end before confusion reigns supreme. Game is excellent for non-competitive winking as well as practice for unequal players.


N players, each using six winks. On a given turn, a player uses all their non-squopped winks once in any order desired. Squopping one's own free wink results in a bonus shot for the squopping wink, provided that neither squopper nor squoppee has been involved in a bonus shot on the current turn. The bonus shot must be the next shot taken.

When a wink is squopped by two enemy winks (which need not belong to the same enemy) such that each is covering a part of the wink that the other is not, the squopped wink is dead and removed from the game. When a player has only one living wink, that wink has the bite, and any wink it squops is dead. The biter also receives an extra turn after any biting shots. If during a turn, an opponent's wink becomes free, it receives a shot (and any applicable bonus shots) immediately and then the original turn is to be completed. Should one colour squop out all opponents, the turn is completed and one additional compleat turn allowed before a wink must be freed. Game ends when only one colour remains.

With more than two players a non vulture rule may be imposed. To avoid one colour waiting for the others to weaken each other, this rule states that after a player's first two turns (when winks start in clusters two feet from each other ) that if he has three or more free winks, at least one squop of an enemy wink must be attempted.

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

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