Pegs and Jokers (Rules and Instructions)

In this race to the finish game of Pegs and Jokers, you will work solo or with a teammate to get all of your pegs to the finish line to win. These Pegs and Jokers rules will provide a rundown of how to play the game, including an explanation of card actions.

Pegs and Jokers is very similar to the classic games of Sorry! and Trouble. It provides a unique wooden play area and wooden pegs to play with. There is another version known as Marbles and Jokers, which has the same rules but uses marbles instead of pegs.

A great game to play with family and friends of all ages, Pegs and Jokers can accommodate up to 8 players with its customizable playing board that can be adjusted depending on the number of players you have. 

This Pegs and Jokers rules guide will cover the following:

  • What is Pegs and Jokers?
  • What you’ll need to play Pegs and Jokers
  • Pegs and Jokers rules
  • How to win Pegs and Jokers
  • FAQs
  • Similar game guides

Find out how to play Pegs and Jokers by reading more below!

What is Pegs and Jokers?

Pegs and Jokers Card Game Info Image

Pegs and Jokers is a simple game of racing to the finish. Be the first player or team to move all of your pegs from your Home Area to your Safe Area.

Number of players: 2-8 

Ages: 7+

Difficulty: Easy

Length of play: 30min

Category: Board, card, abstract, strategy

Similar to: Sorry!, Trouble, Cribbage

Main Objective: Be the first player (or team) to move all of your pegs from your Home Area to your Safe Area.

Why We Love It: It is very similar to some classic board games but adds the use of teams and decks of cards to determine how far you will move your peg rather than dice.

What You’ll Need to Play Pegs and Jokers

Everything you need to play Pegs and Jokers can be found in the box:

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The following components are found inside the game:

  • 6 pegs for each of the 8 colors (1 extra peg is included per player)
  • 8 Rulebooks (1 for each player)
  • 2 Drawstring bags (1 to carry pegs, 1 to carry the board pieces)
  • 4 Sets of playing cards (Each are 52 counts with 2 jokers in each deck)

Pegs and Jokers Rules

Game Setup

Depending on how many players you have determines how many boards and decks of cards you will need:

  • 2 players: 4 boards/2 decks
  • 4 players (2 teams/2 players each): 4 boards/2 decks
  • 6 players (3 teams/2 players each): 6 boards/3 decks
  • 8 players (4 teams/2 players each): 8 boards/4 decks
  1. Each person chooses a color peg and takes 5 pegs. Then, they place the pegs into their Home Area, represented by a diamond on the board in front of them.
  2. Each team sits directly across from each other.
  3. Choose a dealer. The dealer shuffles each deck of cards and then deals 5 cards to each player facedown. 
  4. Place all of the shuffled cards in the middle of the play area for all to reach. You may create more than one pile of cards rather than have one large pile that could potentially tip over! Players may draw out of either deck.
  5. The player to the left of the dealer goes first!

You are now ready to play Pegs and Jokers!

How to Play Pegs and Jokers

The main objective is to be the first player or team to move all of your pegs from your Home Area into your Safe Area.

On your turn, you can play 1 card from your hand. Once you play a card, it gets discarded. Then, draw a new card from the facedown deck and place it in your hand for your next turn.

If you are unable to play a card on your turn, you can discard a card of your choice from your hand and draw a new one. This skips your current turn.

NOTE: Designate a spot in front of you or in the middle of the play area for discards.

Each card has its own special action. For instance, you can only move a peg out of the Home Area if you play a King, Queen, Jack, Ace, or Joker. That peg must be placed into the “out” space, which is the hole located directly outside of the Home Area.

When you play a card, follow the below instructions as follows:

  • Ace: Move forward 1 hole (or remove a peg from home)
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Move forward the number of spaces matching the face value.
  • 7: Move forward 7 holes. The 7 moves can be split between two pegs, but both must move forward.
  • 8: Move backward 8 holes
  • 9: Move forward 9 holes. The 9 moves can be split between two pegs, but one peg must move forward, the other must move backward.
  • 10: Move forward 10 holes
  • Jack: Move forward 11 holes (or remove a peg from home)
  • Queen: Move forward 12 holes (or remove a peg from home)
  • King: Move forward 13 holes (or remove a peg from home)
  • Joker: Replace any other player’s peg in play with your own peg. The other player’s peg goes back to their Home Area. (or remove a peg from home)

NOTE: The above actions are only applied to pegs that have already been removed from the Home Area. You cannot take another peg out of the Home Area if there is still a peg occupying the “out” space. 

Ending the Game

The first player (or the first team) to fill their Safe Area with all of their pegs wins the game. However, there are rules to filling in your Safe Area correctly:

  • When you reach the Safe Area, if the card you played moves you more holes than the Safe Area allows, you cannot enter the Safe Area. You must move your peg past the“in” space (the hole directly in front of the Safe Area) and travel around the board again.
  • All pegs located in the Safe Area cannot be removed.
  • If you have a peg located ahead of the “in” space and play an 8 or 9, you can move that peg backward to the “in” space or past it, but you cannot use this move to enter the Safe Area.

Other Important Rules

  • If your peg lands on an opponent’s peg, the opponent’s peg is returned to their Home Area.
  • If your peg lands on one of your teammate’s pegs, your teammate’s peg goes straight to their “in” space.
  • You cannot pass by or land on one of your own pegs on the main track or in the Safe Area. You must stop your movement when you reach another peg that you own.
  • You must play any playable card in your hand.
  • Each card must be played in its entirety. Example: If you play a 6 card, you must move 6 spaces, no more and no less.
  • If you are on a team, once you place all your pegs in your Safe Area, you may play your cards to help your teammate move their pegs.
  • There is no communication/talking between teammates! You may not discuss which cards you have in your hands or what your plans are.

How to Win Pegs and Jokers

Be the first player or team to move all of your pegs from your Home Area into your Safe Area.

Video Tutorial for Pegs and Jokers

Frequently Asked Questions

When was Pegs and Jokers invented?

Pegs and Jokers was invented in 1975.

Can you play Pegs and Jokers with only 2 players?

Yes, you will need to adjust the board, and each player will be their own “team.”

What is the difference between Pegs and Jokers and Marbles and Jokers?

The only difference is stated in the game titles, one is played with pegs, and the other is played with marbles! The same rules normally apply.

Other Similar Games to Pegs and Jokers (Our Guides)

If you enjoyed reading about Pegs and Jokers, check out these similar game guides (if we have covered them):

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