Sticks is a card game that resembles rummy. However, in sticks, there are special sticks you get in each game that define your goal. Instead of simply scoring the most points, you have to perform what the stick tells you. This fun game may seem complex, but understanding its rules can help you have a good time.
You’ll need four decks of cards, one opaque bag, a pen or marker and 42 tongue-depressing sticks. Before playing, you’ll have to write the different goals on each stick. Create your own wide range of goals. Some common ones are “five wild cards” a run of “jack, queen, king, and ace” and many others. Make sure to write the word “Free” on four of the sticks. Shuffle the cards, then deal 15 to each player. Deal out one stick to every player. If one of the sticks says “free” they turn it over and take another. Put the card deck in the center of play, face down.
Once everyone has their cards, flip over the top card. If the card is a two or a joker, the next player (from the left of the dealer) has to pick up that card. These are wild. The next top card should then be overturned until it is not a two or a joker. Twos and jokers cannot be discarded and must be used in play. Everyone should look through their cards and try to achieve the goal that is on their stick. A run is a numerical sequence of the same suit. For example, a three, four, five, six and seven of hearts would be a five-card run. Pairs include two of the same card, such as a two of diamonds and a two of spades. Flushes include cards of the same suit. Matches include cards that are the same type, such as four kings. Combinations of these and others will be the goals on your sticks. The first player will try to obtain the goal written on their stick. If the goal is not met, he then discards one card, and play goes to the left. That player must pick up a card and try to turn over their stick. If they cannot, they discard. Play continues like this. A player cannot play any cards unless those cards meet the goal on the stick. Once you’ve laid your first stick down, you can play on other people’s hands, adding cards to their runs or matches. The round ends when a player discards his last hand or everyone has a stick turned face up. If everyone has their stick turned over, no one has to go out. If someone goes out, the people who were able to turn over their stick get a new stick and play begins again, with new cards. The people who didn’t turn over their stick keep their first one. Rounds continue until someone has turned over seven sticks.
The first person to obtain the goals on seven sticks wins. The cards can then be reshuffled and the sticks placed face down in order to play again. This game can be played in tournaments. This game can go on for some time, so it might be a good idea to have refreshments available.
Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.