Game # 10 ; Teetoum
Time period: Ancient Greece to modern.
Players: As many as will.
Materials: Wood, leather.
Product Dimensions: 2.0 cm width x 5.0 cm length.
The “Teetotum” is a gambling top that was known in ancient Greece and the Hashemonean kingdom. It is used throughout the medieval western world in games such as ‘Put and Take in England, Toton in France and Driedel in 16th Century Germany. Over time, the markings on the die were changed so that each of the four external sides of the die on the spindle were marked with a letter. Depending upon the country in which the game was played, the letters varied but the rules remained essentially the same.
While earlier it was used for gambling purposes, the Teetotum evolved during Victorian times in England and North America, to be used as a chance device to replace dice in boxed boardgames because of clerical admonitions regarding the use of dice.
The game Put and Take, uses the four-sided teetotum or spinning top, to display a number when it stops spinning. Each player places a coin in a ‘pot’ and then take turns spinning the teetotum following the instructions when the teetotum stops spinning. When the whole pot has been won the round is over and the players start again.
1. Take a coin from the pot;
2. Do nothing;
3. Put in a coin in the pot;
4. Win the whole pot;
The Teetotum comes with a small leather drawstring bag and a sheet of instructions for Put and Take.
A leather cup and a variety of jettons to use instead of coins, are also available.
Suggested age: All
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