North American Tiddlywinks Association

NATwA founded • 27 February 1966


(Secretary-General: Rev. E. A. Willis, 297, Sheen Road,
Richmond, Surrey)

The Rules of

1. TIDDLYWINKS is a game for four players, those who play opposite each other being partners.  The aim of the game is to flick the winks into the pot.

2. THE MAT should have a surface of a felt-like, non-pile structure, e.g. blanket, carpet, or rug, large enough to permit the winks to be placed 3 feet from the pot.  Where possible, public tournaments should be played on needleloom carpets, 2 yards by 1 yard.

3. THE POT should be 1½ in. high, with a top diameter of 1 15/16 in.  If ever a wink rests against the base rim of the pot, it is moved to lie flat on the carpet, just touching the pot.

4.  THE COUNTERS.  Each player plays with 6 counters, called “winks”:  2 large ones, thickness 3/32 in., diameter approx. 7/8 in.  4 small ones thickness 1/16 in., diameter approx. 5/8 in.  A large counter (approx. 1½ in. diameter) is used to flick the winks into the pot, and is called a “squidger”.

5.  THE SCORE.  The first player to pot all his winks scores 4 points.  The second player to pot all his winks scores 2 points.  The third player to pot all his winks scores 1 point.  The last player scores 0.  Partners add their scores together.

6. THE START.  The winks are placed three feet from the pot and each player squidges any one of his winks towards the pot.  These winks are brought back to the starting position and the player whose wink was nearest the pot has first squidge.  Note:  Should there be a tie for “nearest the pot” on the initial squidge, those concerned have a resquidge.

7. PLAY proceeds in a clockwise direction.  Each player may play only his own winks and has one shot per turn, with an additional shot for every wink he pots in that turn.

8. BOUNDS.  If, at any time, a player squidges his own wink off the mat, he replaces it on the edge where it left and misses his next turn.

NOTE:  If, during “desquopping” (see below) a player causes another player’s wink to leave the mat, neither player loses a turn.

9. “SQUOPPING”.  (a) Any wink or winks, covered however slightly by another wink, may not be played.  The act of covering another’s wink is called “squopping”.

NOTE: A wink canot be squopped until it has been brought into play by being squidged from its starting position.

(b) In a pile of two or more winks, only the uncovered winks can be played and must be played in the following manner:  the squidger must first come into contact only with the player’s uncovered wink and a short, continuous stroke must be made.  (This shot is knwon as “desquopping” and may be sufficiently vigorous to free all or some of the squopped winks.)

(c) When all the remaining winks of one pair are squopped the opposing pair counts its remaining free winks (i.e. ones that are not covering, covered, or potted) and has the same number of free turns.  With the next shot, one wink of either of the squopped opponents must be freed.  (If this shot does not free the opponent’s wink, the covering wink must be moved aside to allow the opponent to play.)

NOTE: When a squopped player’s wink has been freed after the completion of the free turns, or if it becomes freed during the free turns, the player must be allowed to have at least one turn before being squopped again.

NOTE: If one member of a squopping pair has no playable winks the free turns are all taken by the other member.  Otherwise the free turns are shared between the two players in normal rotation.  If, during the course of the free turns, one of the pair pots all hsi free winks, he is obliged to play one of any covering winks he may have, and with this shot he must free at least one wink (not necessarily his opponent’s).

(d) As soon as one of the four players has potted all his winks, SQUOPPING CEASES to have any effect and all squopped winks are immediately uncovered, as are any which may become covered during the remainder of the game.  This uncovering is done by moving the covering wink aside, always at the same distance from the pot, until it no longer covers any other wink.

10. DISTURBANCE OF WINKS.  Any winks disturbed in an accidental manner, e.g. by the follow-through of a shot or by bodily contact, should be replaced in their former positions.

If a wink in flight accidentally touches the body or clothing of any of th eplayers, it is likewise replaced in tis former position and the next  player continues with his turn.

IF a player deliberately interferes with any wink or impedes his opponent, he and hsi partner shall be disqualified from this game and the opponents shall receive al 7 points.


Senior and Junior Clubs seeking affiliation to E. Tw. A.
should write to the Secretary-General