You need:

A ring, it can be wood, metal, ceramic, whatever.  A 1½ to 13/4 diameter is a good size for a table game.  I have seen pictures of sets with big rings and large diameter dowels made to be played on the patio. 18 - 27 pieces of dowel, 6 - 9 each of 3 different diameters.  The dowels need to almost fill the ring but leave enough room that when the ring is held at 1/3 of the length of the dowels from the top and lightly rotated the dowels will spread out into a teepee shape and stand up.  My dowels are 6 inches long.  The bundle of sticks won’t collapse as easily if the ring sits higher up than half way.
To Play
  1. Set up the dowels in the teepee.
  2. Decide who is going to go first, the youngest, the oldest or the player lwith the smallest hands and the direction of play.
  3. The first player removes one dowel from the teepee.
  4. Play goes to the next player who removes one dowel.
  5. Continue play around the table.
  6. The person who causes the ting to touch the table loses and that round is over.  It is possible to get down to 3 dowels holding the ring up.
You can score by counting the number of dowels each person has at the end of the round.  This makes it a bit less likely that younger players will simply try to make the teepee fall.


Your playing surface needs to be smooth enough that the dowels will spread out but not so slick that the dowels keep going.  I have used a thin piece of fabric over a really slick surface.

Colored Sticks

Color the ends of the dowels in one of 3 colors usually red, yellow and blue, evenly distributing the colors over the 3 sizes of dowels.

Have a 6-sided dice with two sides of each color.  The individual colors do not need to be opposite on the dice.  The trick here is to find or make dice.

  1. Set up the dowels in the teepee.
  2. Decide who is going first and the direction of play.
  3. Each player in turn rolls the dice and removes a dowel of that color. 
  4. If there are no more sticks of that color the player pulls out any stick.

If it appears to risky to pull out a stick of the color shown on the die you may pass IF you already have a stick of that color.  You must put one stick of the color shown back in the game box to be able to pass.  This stick will not count towards your final score.

The first player to cause the ring to touch the playing surface loses and does not get points.

Possible Scoring

Yellow sticks = 1 point

Blue sticks = 2 points

Red sticks = 3 points

Playing with younger players; At the end of the game just count the number of sticks that each player has.