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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 16:07 GMT
Tippit champ hands out tips
The game involves guessing which hand the coin is in
The new holder of one of the sporting world's strangest titles - in the ancient coin-hiding game of tippit - has promised he won't get carried away by his triumph.

Mid Wales is already well known as the home of another bizarre world championship - bog-snorkelling.

But it also hosts the annual tippit contest, where teams of three have to guess in which hand their opponents are hiding a coin.

Martin Kingston, one of the threesome who grabbed this year's title, said: "Although this is mainly a game of chance there is a psychological edge to it."

There is such a thing as a tippit face similar to a poker face
Martin Kingston

Although it is described as the annual "world" championships, in fact it tends to attract entrants from a more limited field: mid Wales, in fact, supplied all 20 or so teams in this year's contest at a pub in Rhayader.

It is organised by the World Amateur Tippit Society and was first held at Llanafan Fawr, Powys, in 1995 for the James Williams trophy.

The game dates back hundreds of years, and the team with the tippit (or coin) initially have their hands under a table.

Tthe team captain, who sits in the middle, decides which of the six fists will hold the coin.

Eye contact

All the clenched fists are then placed on the table and the opposition have to guess which one holds the coin.

"For some reason tippit has always been popular in pubs in the region between Caersws and Llandovery," said Phil Woosnam, landlord of host pub the Castle.

This year's winners came from the Crown Inn at Rhayader, a convenient 10 yards across the road to the tournament venue.

Mr Kingston, who won the championship with Charlotte Jones and Maurice Ball, said: "There is such a thing as a tippit face similar to a poker face because you can't give away to the opposition that you have the tippit.

"The team we played against in the final decided to close their eyes for some legs and at one stage played with their heads on the table to try and avoid eye contact.

"One thing is certain - I won't let the world title go to my head and my team will try and reclaim the title next year."

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