How to Play Pegs & Jokers

By Martin Cole ; Updated April 12, 2017
Euchre is the reason jokers are included in modern playing cards.

Pegs and Jokers is a board game that utilizes a deck of playing cards. While the game can be made commercially, it is more common for the boards to be homemade. The aim of Pegs and Jokers is to move your own five pegs to your home track, but also to aid your partner’s in achieving the same goal. The first team to do this wins the game. The rules of Pegs and Jokers do not take long to pick up.

Split the evenly numbered players into two teams. The number of players depends on how many sides the board has. A square board is for a four-player game, a hexagon is for a six-player game and an octagon is for an eight-player game.

Sit at one side of the board with two opponents on either side of you.

Use three decks of cards for the game and include six jokers. Add two more jokers and an extra deck for eight-player games. Put all of the cards in one pile and shuffle.

Deal five cards to everyone playing and place the remaining cards face down and within reach of the players.

Look at your own cards but keep your cards to yourself.

Decide who will go first. You could deal a card to everyone and see who has the highest value. Turns are clockwise from then on.

Pick a card up from the main pile on your turn so you now have six cards. Play a jack, queen, king or ace to exit the start area, where all five of your pegs begin the game, and then put this card in the used card pile. If you don’t have one of these cards, put any of your cards into the used pile without having a turn.

Move the corresponding number of spaces clockwise around the board if you pick up a two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine or 10 of any suit once you have left the start area. If you get a jack, queen or king again, then you can move a piece 10 spaces or get another peg out of the start area. Aces move pegs only one space.

Play a seven and you can split up the seven spaces you can move between your pegs. For example, five spaces for one and two for another. Using an eight means you must move backwards eight spaces.

Don’t pass over or land on the same space as one of your other pegs, as this is an illegal move. Passing over an opponent’s or partner’s space is fine.

Land on an opponent’s peg to send it back to the start area or land on partner’s to send it to the in-spot, which is near the finish line for your pegs.

Use a joker, and you can choose another player’s peg to land on at any point of the game. You can also use this ability to leave the start area.

Play one of your cards if you have one that can make a legal move. Do this even if the move is a poor one. If you don’t have a card that fits this description, then discard any card and end your turn. The joker is the only exception to this rule; you never have to play your joker until you want to.

Move into your home track when you have made it back round to your side of the board. The home track is the five spaces in front of the in-spot. If you roll, use a number higher than the amount needed to reach the end of the home track, you must move another piece or move by the home track for an lap around the board.

Play for your partner sitting closest on your left once all of your pieces are in the home track. The winning team is the first to have all of their pegs in the home track.

Things Needed

  • Pegs and Jokers boards
  • 3 or 4 decks of playing cards with two jokers in each.

About the Author

Based in the U.K., Martin Cole has been writing since 2009. His articles have been published in "The Evening Chronicle," "The Journal" and "The Sunday Sun." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Northumbria University.