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Pegging

What is ‘Pegging’?

The term Pegging is used to describe the way in which a player marks the front of a card in poker or blackjack, so that a very small bump (also known as a blister or punch), can be felt through the back of the card.

‘Pegging’ Explained

The blister can be made with a miniature tool known as a pegger, which looks like a tiny stapler. The front of the card could also be marked using a pin, a ring, or a thumbtack (drawing pin).

The blister is only made on the surface of a card in a way that does not tear it but can be felt as a tiny bump by the cheating player when they are holding on to the deck for dealing. The advantage is that the cheat can then decide which card to deal out.

As with any cheating method, pegging is more likely to happen with the Face or Ace cards. Their higher value in a hand makes the risk of pegging more worthwhile.

Because of this, pegging is likely to be combined with the “second deal” method of dealer cheating. This is when the dealer pretends to deal the top card but instead deals out the card immediately underneath. If a dealer is going to make that choice, then they need to know what the second card is if it is going to be of any advantage. It also means that they do not need to risk being caught looking at the cards as they deal.

In the card game cribbage (also known as crib), scoring is traditionally called pegging because the score is kept by moving a player’s pegs on a cribbage board. The play (usually called pegging) starts with the player to the left of the dealer and continues clockwise until the winning player reaches the target score (usually 121 points).