Tiddlywinks Rules

Written by andrew mcclain
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Tiddlywinks is a game for two or more people. Players use a plastic disk to pop other plastic disks into a pot in the centre of a mat. Since Joseph Assheton Fincher invented tiddlywinks in the 1880s, it has grown in popularity and spread around the world. As the game spread, it evolved, and you can find variations and offshoots of tiddlywinks everywhere. However, the basic rules have remained largely the same.


To play tiddlywinks, you need some equipment. The winks are six plastic disks of a single colour. You need a few sets, each a different colour. Squidgers are larger plastic disks that you use to move the winks. You need one for each set of winks. You also need a mat -- a flat playing surface on which to play the game -- and a pot, any container into which you can play the winks.


The opening play of tiddlywinks is called the squidge-off. Place the pot in the centre of the mat. Place the winks on the corners of the mat. Each corner should have one wink colour.

Pick your colour. Press the squidge against one end of the wink. This will cause the wink to jump across the map. You want the wink to jump toward the pot. The wink closest to the pot after one try wins the squidge-off. Return the winks to the corners. The squidge-off winner goes first in regular game play.

Game Play

Play moves clockwise around the mat. The goal is to use the squidge to jump your winks into the pot so that they become "potted winks." If a wink on the mat comes to rest on top of another wink, the wink on top is the "squopping wink." The wink on bottom is the "squopped wink." You cannot play squopping or squopped winks any longer.

If you pot a wink on your turn, you get an additional turn. Return any winks that fly off the mat to the position they were in before the shot. If you cause another player's winks to fall off the mat, that player loses his next turn.

Win the Game

You win tiddlywinks when you reach the time limit, when more than one player "pots out" his winks (gets all six winks into the pot) or when no more playable winks are on the mat.

Official game time starts with the first shot after the squidge-off. Pairs games last 25 minutes; singles games last 20 minutes. If you have not potted out any colours during the time limit, you count "tiddlies." You get three tiddlies for each wink you get into the pot, and you get one tiddly for every free wink you played. Count the tiddlies for each colour separately. The player with the most tiddlies wins the game.

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