The sticks are bundled and taken in one hand that touches the table/ground. The release creates a circular jumble. Now one stick after another should be taken up without moving/touching others. The take away could be by hand, or by using the special stick (The Mikado), it could be used as a helper, possibly to throw up another stick.
It is allowed to stand up on but not to leave the own place. A bad throw could be rerun and the rules should be kept strict in respect to moving sticks to enjoy the game.
On a fault the turn ends (the last stick taken is not counted). The next player bundles and drops the sticks again. After several rounds, normally five, the one with the highest score is the winner.
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The object of the game is to pick up the most sticks.
To begin the game, a bundle of sticks are somewhat randomly distributed so that they end up in a tangled pile. The more tangled the resulting (dis)array, the more challenging the game. In some versions of the game, any isolated sticks, or sticks lying alone, are removed.
The players attempt to remove a single stick, without moving any other stick. In some versions of the game, players use a tool to move the stick away from the pile; this “tool” may be one of the sticks, held aside before the game begins. In other versions, players must pick up the sticks by hand. In either case, players must not move any other things while attempting to remove the said stick; if any other stick moves, his or her turn ends immediately and they lose a turn. Players who successfully pick up a stick can then have another turn; the player keeps removing sticks until he or she causes a secondary stick to move. Different-coloured sticks are worth different number of points, and the game is over when the last stick is removed. The winner is the player with the highest number of sticks picked up.