Dating back to the early 18th century, Pick-up-sticks, goes by several names, including jackstraws, or spillikins. Requiring a good eye and steady hand, Pick-up-sticks can be played by both children and adults, requiring only color-coded, thin wooden sticks or straws.

How to Play

  • Hold the sticks upright in a bunch in one hand just above the floor or table.
  • Release the sticks and let them fall.
  • Each player in turn tries to remove the sticks one by one without moving any other stick in the pile. If they successfully remove a stick, they keep it and get to go again. If another stick moves, they stop and the next player goes.
  • In some versions of the game, the next player may choose to pick up a stick from the scattered sticks or scoop up all of the sticks and drop them again prior to attempting to pick them up.
  • The sticks are assigned points based on color: black ten points, red five points, blue three points, green two points, and yellow one point.
  • NOTE: If a player successfully removes the black stick, they may use it to help you remove other sticks. This special ability is reserved to the black stick only, of which there is only one in the set.
  • Once all the sticks are removed from the pile, players count the value of their collected sticks.
  • The player with the most points wins.

NOTE: It is easy to create this classic game by color coding skewers or straws.

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