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Subject: The Staccabees Teetotums – A Dice Review rss

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Keng Ho Pwee
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As the website explains, Staccabees is a fun, family update to the game of teetotum. The ‘update’ is the addition of a dexterity component where players place (or remove) cubes on a single stack depending on what the teetotum shows when spun.

Staccabees comes in two versions that differ only in colour (orange or blue) and the type of teetotum that comes with the game. The play of the game, irrespective of colour or type of teetotum, is essentially the same.

I recently received one each of the two different types of teetotums. One type has the letters, S, T, A and C on the four sides of the teetotum. The other type is a standard dreidel with the Hebrew characters for Nun, Gimel, Hey and Shin on the sides.

As far as game play goes, each player gets cubes of 3 different sizes which they try to rid themselves of by stacking them on a common single stack of cubes. On a players turn, the player spins the teetotum and depending on which side comes up, adds half their cubes of one size to the stack (S or Hey), takes the top cube from the stack (T or Shin), adds all their cubes of one size to the stack (A or Gimel), or takes no action at all (C or Nun). Along the way, if you are unlucky enough to unbalance the stack and cause one or more cubes to fall, you have to add all fallen cubes to your pile. The first player to get rid of all their cubes is the winner.

The teetotums are essentially cubes of naturally coloured wood that have a black wooden dowel going through them. The characters are laser-engraved on the sides and consequently are a pleasant ‘burnt-brown’ colour. The teetotums don’t spin for a particularly long time not more than a few seconds and certainly not long enough to sing the dreidel song. However they do spin adequately enough to play the game, and this is probably a good thing otherwise players might wait too long for the top to stop spinning every turn. The wood that the cubes are made of don’t seem to be particularly heavy, which possibly explains its short spin-time.

I know I’ve labelled this a dice review and teetotums could be argued not to be dice, but I collect them anyway and it seemed awkward to call this ‘a randomising device review’.

I received the teetotums as a gift from Daniel Singer, one of the designers of the game, who incidentally has a neat website,, dedicated to the dreidel and which I highly recommend to all lovers of dice and randomising devices. I learned that the Greek version of Put-and-take is Parta Ola, for instance. The Staccabees website ( is also recommended as it has useful FAQs and you can download the rules from it.

The Staccabees teetotums would find a place in any dice lover's collection.

Dice rating 4

1 How much are you giving me to add these dice to my collection?
2 You're giving me these dice? Thanks!
3 Great buy from a thrift shop!
4 Willing to buy or trade for these dice
5 If the dice came in a game, I'd buy the game!!
6 I want these now!!!
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