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“This is a game of pure manual dexterity, and is rare practice for cultivating steadiness of hand and delicacy of touch. Its worst fault is that in the very nature of the game a constant series of deadlocks are inevitable, only to be overcome by the self-sacrifice of one or other of the players. Jackstraws are a number of thing narrow slips of wood, bone or ivory, each more or less notched, sometimes cut into fantastic shapes, and numbered. These being held together in a bundle, are allowed to fall on the table, and the players, two or more in number, each in turn pull them out one by one with a small hook. As long as a player can go on abstracting from the heap, without in any way shaking or disturbing more than one jackstraw at the time, his turn continues, and all he thus secures he keeps; at the least shake his turn ceases, and the next player goes on. When all the jackstraws have been thus abstracted, each player counts his heap, each jackstraw being valued at the number inscribed on it, and he who has most wins."— Thomas Sheppard Meek


games, jackstraws


Thomas Sheppard Meek, The Home Library of Entertainment Instruction and Amusement321


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