The teetotum probably originated in Germany during the Middle Ages. Originally, teetotums were inscribed with letters and were used to predict the future. Jewish children often play a game with a four¬sided top called a dreidel that is marked with Hebrew initials. Both dreidels and teetotums can be made of wood, lead, or even fine silver. During the nineteenth century, American children often made teetotums out of cardboard to use to determine the moves in their board games.
THE FIRST MOVE.-Since the first move often gives a player a great advantage in games involving strategy, it is very important to fairly determine who will make the first move. One way is to roll a die or a pair of dice. Each player rolls and the one with the highest throw takes the first turn.
Another method is to flip a coin. One player flips the coin and if the opponent guesses correctly whether heads or tails is up, the oppo¬nent begins the game. If the opponent guesses incorrectly, the player makes the first move.
Two players normally alternate turns. If more than two people are playing, turns may be taken either according to the highest num¬bers thrown or in a clockwise direction around the board.
Further restrictions on the first move, such as special throws or starting squares, are described when they apply to the games in Play It Again.
HoNtE BasE.-The side of the board or space from which a player begins to move his pieces, as in Draughts or Pachisi, is the “home base” of that player. In Pachisi and Ludo, there is also a home space that is really the finishing line, or the final space to be reached by a playing piece in order to win the game.
MOVES.-Playing pieces on the games described in Play It Again may be moved in any one of four directions as described in the rules for the individual games. When a piece is moved to an adjacent space or point, it is the square or point next to or adjoining the position of the playing piece.