Tiddlywinks is a game in which players attempt to snap small discs into a central pot, using a larger disk called a squidger. The game involves a certain amount of strategy, as skilled players need to think out their play very carefully if they want to succeed, and also some skill; extremely talented players, for example, can sink all of their smaller discs or winks into the pot in one turn. The object of the game is to ensure that all of your winks end up in the pot first.
The game originally began as tiddly-winks in Victorian England. It was devised as a game for children, although adults caught on to the trend as well, developing their own complex rules to create a more challenging version of the game. In the 1950s, the popularity of tiddlywinks flared up again in the United States, and several organizations of adult players were founded so that enthusiasts of the game could find each other at conferences and other public tiddlywinks events.
Many stores stock tiddlywinks in their games section, and it is also possible to find vintage sets in used stores. Some adventurous players even craft their own tiddlywinks sets, although these sets may not always conform with official tiddlywinks standards. The game can be enjoyed by people of all ages, and it is simple to learn, making it a good choice for a group.
A tiddlywinks set includes a large felt tiddlywinks mat which is used as the field of play. The tiddlywinks cup is placed in the middle, and there are four sets of winks in different colors along with a set of squidgers. Players can either try to cover winks of opposing colors, taking them out of play until they are uncovered, or they can attempt to shoot their winks directly into the cup. Each time a wink is landed in the cup, the player gets an extra turn; if the player fails to sink a wink, he or she yields to the next person in the play order.
The game can be played by four people in two teams, or two people playing two sets of winks each. The game also includes a complex and rather humorous set of terms, including words like “squopping” for for covering an opponent's wink. In serious competitive play, tiddlywinks can get extremely fierce, with opponents dealing significant damage to each other while they fight for the victory.