Rules of Mikado

By Dan Chruscinski

Mikado is a game of patience and skill that requires players to remove sticks from a pile without causing a disturbance to the other sticks. Similar to Jenga and Pick-Up-Sticks, Mikado rewards players for taking risks by attempting to acquire sticks with higher point values, including the Mikado stick, which is worth the highest number of points.

Sticks and Points

Start by familiarizing yourself with the colored sticks and the point values each group has attached to them. There are 41 sticks in the game and five colors. Each game has one white stick, known as the Mikado, which has a point value of 20. The five blue sticks are each worth 10 points. The five green sticks have a value of five points each. The 15 red sticks are each worth three points and the 15 yellow sticks are worth two points each. The number of points available in the game is 170.

Starting a Game

Begin the game by mixing up the sticks and holding them in a bunch over the table. The person who is holding them releases the sticks so they fall upon the playing surface, forming a pile. If for any reason sticks do not form a pile or roll off the playing surface, pick up the entire collection and drop them again.

Picking Up Sticks

Starting with the player to the left of the person who dropped the sticks, play begins with each player trying to remove a stick from the pile without disturbing any others. The first player to play will be able to choose any stick in the pile, giving this person the advantage of selecting easily acquired sticks. As soon as the player selects a stick to attempt to pick up, he cannot release the stick and go for another. If the player can remove a stick without disturbing the other sticks, he can draw another stick from the pile. If a stick moves, the player must drop the stick and his turn ends.

The Mikado

While fingers must be used to draw the sticks from the table, whoever removes the Mikado is able to use the stick to aid in gaining other sticks for the rest of the game. The stick can be used to prevent others from moving or to force out sticks that would be otherwise inaccessible by the player's fingers.

Winning

After there are no more sticks left to pick up, players count their points according to the colors and point values listed above. Remember: The total number of points will always add up to 170, so if it does not then one of the players has miscounted their points. The winner is the player with the highest score and he is the player to go first on the next round.

About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.