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This game is also known as "Mikado".


  • 33 wooden pick up sticks
  • a cotton drawstring storage bag
  • instructions


Grasp the sticks loosely in one hand so that they flare towards the top, or lean from the center evenly as in the illustration. A successful throw depends upon the proper grasping of the sticks.

Open the hand quickly and pull it away quickly so that the sticks will not hit it in falling. If the sticks have been held and allowed to fall properly, they will land on the table radially, like the spokes of a wheel.

Game Play

  1. Pick up the sticks, one by one; by tipping the pointed end or in any other manner; all Is fair if no other stick than the one you tackle moves.

    You may continue to pick them up until you move some other stick than the one you have in your hand. Then you lose your turn and you pass the sticks to the player at your left.

  2. Players record their scores on tallies at the end of each turn; add up the total at the end of the game. The player with the highest number of points wins. The scores of the lasers can be subtracted from the winner's and - but why go on?

  3. If you happen to be just too, too clever for words and manage to pick up all the sticks from your spill, you may throw them up again and again until the cows come home.

  4. Each player spills his own sticks.

  5. You may use both hands. If the going gets rough, you may use the Emperor (if you have already succeeded in getting him) to separate two which are lying too close together, or to flick one which is lying on others, but of course, even with the Emperor you must not move any other sticks.

    If you use any other stick as a helper, you lose your turn.

  6. If you pick up a warrior, a captain and a chieftain in that order, it counts double (Four-five-Six - Get it?). In other words, a sequence of yellow, red and green counts 30 instead of 15.

  7. You must play from your own place. If you get uneasy, rurr around the block, not around the table.

  8. No matter how or why a stick moves, if it moves while you are picking up another, you are assumed to - be a careless so-and-so and you lose your turn. See?


#SticksColorEach Counts
1EmperorBlack20 points
6PrinceBlue10 points
6ChieftainGreen6 points
10CaptainRed5 points
10WarriorYellow4 Points

End of the Game

Any number may play as many rounds as are decided before the start of the game, or the one who reaches 500 or 1,000 first wins.

Tips for beginners

The sticks are tapered at the ends, and the easiest way to get one out sometimes is to press the end touching the table, providing no other stick is resting on it.

Practice will develop skill in the use of the Emperor in flicking sticks from the top of the pile. This often wins the game. -

An easy way to count is as follows. Suppose you have the following: The Emperor-20; one sequence-30; three blues-30; five reds-25; two greens-12; and ten yellows-40; or a total of 157.

This is excellent training in mental arithmetic for the younger people.

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