Ways & How

How to Play Pick Up Sticks

How to Play Pick Up Sticks

Nowadays, it is pretty uncommon to see a child playing pick up sticks. Years ago, this is one of the most popular games for kids, as it improves their dexterity and even teaches children how to count. The multicolored sticks also serve as a great way for toddlers to remember colors. There are websites that offer free games of pick-up sticks, but the experience is not the same as when you are doing it physically. Parents who know how to play pick up sticks should teach this game to their children, since this is something that they can do together. Here is how to play:

  1. This game is best played with two to five players. However, you can also play by yourself just for practice. The game can be played on any flat, hard surface, like a table or the floor.

  2. You also need to decide how you are going to determine the winner. When playing pickup sticks, there are two ways to win, which should be decided at the beginning of the game. The first way is to determine a target score among the players. Whoever reaches that score first wins.

    The second way is to play the whole game until the last stick has been picked up. Whoever has the most number of sticks at the end of the game emerges as the winner.

  3. To decide who goes first, flip a coin among yourselves. The winner of the coin toss holds the whole bundle of multicolored sticks, then releases it on a flat, hard surface. A good game of pick up sticks should have a pretty scattered pile with some hard-to-get sticks somewhere in it.

  4. The first player should pick up any stick he or she wants, as long as he or she does not disturb other sticks while doing so. That means other sticks should not be moved.

  5. If the player moves a stick while picking up another, he or she should abandon that stick and let the next player play. However, if the player successfully picks up a stick without moving other sticks, he or she can take another turn picking up a stick until he or she makes a mistake.

  6. An optional part of the game is the black stick, which is a tool that a player can use to successfully draw a stick from a pile. The black stick can help the player lift sticks out of a pile, separate sticks that are closely lying together, or flip sticks in case one is lying on top of another.

  7. Once it is the next playerÂ’s turn, that player has two options. The first is to use the same pile that the player before him or her used. Another option is to pick all the remaining sticks and scatter them again.

  8. In case a player manages to pick up all the sticks in one go, the game can continue with that player beginning the next round by scattering all the sticks again and attempting to pick them all up until he or she makes a mistake.

  9. To score a game of pick up sticks, you can pick red, blue, and green sticks respectively to double their values. Black sticks are worth 25 points, red sticks 10 points, blue sticks 5 points, green sticks 2 points, and yellow sticks 1 point.

Knowing how to play pick up sticks will enable you to spend and enjoy hours of fun with your friends and family.


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