Rule 8. Pegging
Back to Rules of Cribbage
Rule 8.1. Recording Score on Board
Beginning with the outside track, a player shall record his or her first score by placing a peg in the hole corresponding to their score. Subsequent scores are recorded by advancing the rear peg over the front peg by "leapfrogging" the number of holes consistent with the score to be recorded.
Rule 8.2. Zero Hand or Crib
If a zero-count hand or crib is held, the pegs must not be touched.
Rule 8.3. Pegging Incorrectly to the Player’s Disadvantage
If the wrong number of points is pegged to the pegger's disadvantage (i.e.,
underpegging a forward score or overpegging a backward penalty), a correction
is not permitted after the player's fingers are removed from the peg.
Rule 8.4. Pegging Incorrectly to the Player’s Advantage
a. False claim of game: a false claim of game may not be corrected. Judges must be called. If a player does not have sufficient points to win the game and performs actions similar to those listed below, he or she has falsely claimed the game and judges shall be summoned:
- Pegging into the game (out) hole and releasing the peg.
- Recording the game outcome as a win on a scorecard.
- Placing his or her peg into the game-record holes (used on some boards
to record the number of games won in a match).
- Advancing a game-record peg.
b. Penalty for false claim of game: If a player falsely claims the
game, the following steps are to be taken before play resumes:
- The offender's front peg shall be placed in the hole corresponding to the
points actually scored. If both pegs were removed, refer to Rule 8.5.b.
- The offender's opponent is awarded points equal to the number overclaimed (i.e., up to the game hole).
- The offender is assessed a 15-point backward penalty (even if the nonoffender reaches the game hole as a result of #2 above).
c. If the wrong number of points is pegged to the pegger's advantage (i.e.,
overpegging a forward score or underpegging a backward penalty), but less than
enough to claim the game and before either player plays the next card or
indicates acceptance of a pegged hand or crib, then:
- Upon discovery by the opponent, the peg shall be moved back to the
correct hole, and the opponent scores the amount of the error.
- If the offender discovers the error, he or she may move the peg back to
the correct hole without penalty, but shall tell the opponent before doing so.
d. During the play of the cards, if an incorrect pegging claim is not made
within a reasonable time, before either player plays another card or before either player pegs his or her hand, the play stands as pegged.
Rule 8.5. Improperly Removing Pegs
a. If a player removes only his or her front peg when a score is not yet pegged, then:
- If the mistake is recognized before the peg is released, then the peg in the hand becomes the rear peg and only the latest score may be recorded (i.e., only the previously recorded score is forfeited).
- If the player completes recording the score in the wrong direction and
releases the peg, both pegs shall remain where they are and that score and the
previous score are forfeited. If a player pegs from first street back to fourth street, upon discovery the peg on fourth street is placed behind the peg on first street. In the event that both pegs end up on fourth street, upon discovery they shall be removed from the board and the player shall start from the zero hole again.
- If the mistake is not recognized until the player uses the front peg to peg forward and releases it, then the front peg is placed behind the rear peg, and the latest score may be recorded
(i.e., only the previously recorded score is forfeited), and there is no penalty added for overpegging..
b. If a player removes both pegs when there is a score to record, then the front peg shall be replaced where it was. If the players cannot agree where
it was, judges shall be summoned to decide the matter. After the front peg is
replaced, the other peg shall be placed behind it; the unpegged score is thereby
forfeited. Before applying this rule, judges should determine whether rule 8.7 is more appropriate and should be applied.
Rule 8.6. Etiquette in Touching Pegs
After notifying the opponent, a player may adjust (tighten) his or her own loose peg or correct an overpegged score. There is no penalty for accidentally touching an opponent's peg (no harm, no foul) (see rule 8.8 if necessary).
Rule 8.7. Dislodging Pegs
If a player accidentally dislodges a peg, it shall be replaced in the hole where it belongs. If there is uncertainty about the proper hole, the peg shall be placed as agreed upon by both players. If the players do not agree, judges shall be summoned to decide the matter. If both front pegs are dislodged, the above applies in both cases. If either or both back pegs are dislodged, it (they) may be placed anywhere behind the front peg(s).
Rule 8.8. Pegging With Opponent’s Pegs
If a player picks up an opponent's peg to record a score (forward or backward), the peg shall be returned to its former place. The nonoffender receives two penalty points. The offending player may then record the proper score using his or her own back peg. If a front peg was involved in the infraction, use part of rule 8.7 for resolution.
Rule 8.9. Recording Score in Wrong Track
If a player records an otherwise correct score but places the
peg in the wrong track on his or her side of the board or in opponent’s track,
it shall be moved to the proper track without penalty.
Rule 8.10. Pegging a "Go" before Announcement
A "go" may be pegged if previous play had made it clear that a "go" is warranted. If a "go" is pegged before the opponent has announced "go," the cards remaining in the opponent's hand determine if the "go" is warranted and may be taken, or whether the player has over pegged and a penalty for overpegging is involved, including the provision of rule 8.4.a.
Rule 8.11. Failure to Place Peg in Game (Out) Hole
A player should peg out into hole 121 to complete a game. However,
a. If a player performs an action similar to any of the following, it shall be considered equivalent to pegging out or reaching the game hole:
- Recording the game as a win on a scorecard.
- Placing his or her peg into one of the game-record holes (holes used on some boards to record the number of games won in a match).
- Advancing a game-record peg.
b. The opponent may wish to summon judges; however, if the judges determine that the player had enough points to win, that player will be declared the winner.
c. If the judges declare that the player did not have enough points to win the
game, then rule 8.4 will apply.
d. If a player concedes a game to an opponent (in match play only), that concession is equivalent to the recipient pegging out.
Back to Rules of Cribbage