as played at
Havasu Falls RV Resort
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Pegs and Jokers is a North American race game for four, six or eight players, using playing-cards to move pegs around a board. It is also sometimes known as Jokers and Pegs. It is clearly derived ultimately from the Indian race game Pachisi, a race game using dice for movement, perhaps via its American derivative Sorry, in which pawns are moved according to cards drawn from a special deck.
Pegs and Jokers is a partnership game played with standard playing-cards on from four to ten linked boards. It allows extra scope for strategy by giving players a choice of cards to play. Each player has five pegs, and the winners are the first team to move all their pegs from their START area to their HOME areas. Boards are usually made from wood and can be home-made or purchased in sets from sellers found on the internet. They are usually linked with Velcro or hinged pins. The pegs are usually made from golf tees
Players and Equipment
The players are divided into two teams - two against two, three against three or four against four. They sit alternately - each player seated between two opponents.
Standard decks of cards are used, with two jokers in each deck. Three decks (162 cards including 6 jokers) may be enough for up to six players: eight players should use four decks (216 cards including 8 jokers).
Four players use a four-sided board; six players use a six-sided board; eight players use an eight-sided board - one side for each player, each associated with a different color. Each player has five pegs in the color that corresponds to the side of the board nearest to them. Each side of the board has a straight section of track 18 units long: there is a corner hole at each end, shared between two adjacent sides, and 17 holes between them. The 8th hole after the corner is the "come out" position for the pegs on that side, and next to it is the colored "start" area with five holes where the pegs of that color are stored at the start of the game. The 3rd hole after the corner is the "in-spot" for that color, and branching off at the "in-spot" is a colored private track of 5 holes, which is the "home" or "safe" area, where the pegs end their journey. The diagram below shows one side of the board.
Here is a typical game set. You hook the individual boards
together according to how many players you have.
Object: To move all five pegs, clockwise around the board, from your HOME position, to your SAFE position.
Set-Up: Playing field is assembled with as many individual board sections as there are players.
Players: Six or eight players use the board and three decks of poker cards with the Jokers (two per deck). Play is either two, three person teams or two four person teams. Four players use the board and three decks of poker cards with the Jokers (two per deck). Play is two, two person teams
Game Pieces: Each player chooses five pegs in a unique color.
Winning: First team to have all of their pegs in the SAFE position wins the game.
Dealing: Deal each player five cards. Player to the left of the dealer makes play by playing a card to his discard pile and then making his move. He then draws one replacement card from the deck. Penalty: if player fails to draw a card from the deck prior to next player making a play, on the players next turn he must play from the four cards he has in his hand and can then draw two cards.
Card value for making board moves: Play begins by using a Joker, King, Queen, Jack or Ace to move a peg from any of the five HOME positions to the COME OUT position.
After a piece is out it’s HOME position play is as follows:
Ace moves forward one hole
2 moves forward two holes
3 moves forward three holes
4 moves forward four holes
5 moves forward five holes
6 moves forward six holes
7 moves forward seven holes, but must be split between two pegs
8 moves backward eight holes
9 move is split backward and forward in any combination. Examples: One space backward and eight spaces forward. Or, three spaces backward and six spaces forward, etc.
10 moves forward ten holes
Jack moves forward eleven holes
Queen moves forward twelve holes
King moves forward thirteen holes
Joker is a wild card and replaces any other peg in play with one of your own pegs whether your peg is in play or in your Home position. If you replace a partner’s peg, it goes to his CASTLE IN SPOT. If you replace an opponent’s peg, it returns to his HOME position.
Anytime, your peg lands on your partners peg, you send it to his CASTLE IN SPOT.
If your peg lands on your opponent's peg, it goes back to his HOME position.
Once a peg is in the SAFE position, it is safe and cannot be removed or backed up.
You cannot back into the SAFE position.
When entering the SAFE position, if your only move is for more holes in the SAFE position, you cannot enter the SAFE position and must go around again.
You cannot pass, or land on, your own peg. This is true even when you are in the SAFE position.
You must move if you have a play.
You must use the full count of the card played; i.e. a four card requires four moves, even into the SAFE position.
If you have only one peg that is not in the SAFE position, then a seven or a nine card moves a full count forward.
If you complete your board with a seven or a nine card; you finish the move on the first clockwise partner still in play
Each player must play his own pegs until all five pegs are in the SAFE position. Then he can help his
Teammates. When playing with partners, you will help the teammate player to your left (clockwise), if he still has playable pegs. Once all of his five pegs are in his SAFE position, then you help the next clockwise teammate.
If you do not hold a COME OUT card on your turn and you have no other possible move, you discard a card from your hand and make a draw. If on your fourth turn you still have not drawn a COME OUT card then you may start with any card from your hand. If you should draw a COME OUT card you must use that card on your next turn.
Hints for good play:
Avoid, if possible, positioning your peg 1) in your opponents COME OUT or eight back from his COME OUT spot; 2) in the opponents CASTLE IN SPOT.
The area between the opponents COME OUT and CASTLE IN SPOT tends to be a safe area.
1 Another deck and as many as four (4) more jokers can be added.
2 Games can be played with as many as ten players. And it can be quite fun this way, especially if you add another deck and at least four more Jokers.