Pro tip: Getting Star Cards in Super Mario Bros. 3 any time you want them

In Super Mario Bros 3, getting maxed out on 1UPs on that one stage is pretty great, but what about the rest of the game?

Well, every time you finish a stage, you get a Card, which sits down at the bottom-right of the screen.

Collect three cards and you get a 1UP. Collect three matching cards, though, and you get more. Three mushrooms nets 2UP, Fire Flowers nets 3UP, and Starmen get you the pretty awesome 5UP.

So, if you know how to manipulate the cards, you can slowly build up a pretty good stockpile of extra lives.

You start by running into the dark area at the end of the stage at full speed (or pretty close to). Then jump up and hit the goal at 45 degree angle.

Done right you'll get a Star. Every time! Which will lead to

5 extra lives, every three stages or so.

Not a bad ROI, I'd say.