How to Make a DIY Triangle Peg Game

DIY Triangle Peg Game

A few months ago we went on a road trip to visit my sister in Lincoln, Nebraska. When we were there, we went to a restaurant called Cracker Barrel. That was my first time at Cracker Barrel and I noticed that each dining table had a small peg game. While waiting for our food, I noticed that people around us were playing the peg game. It seemed intriguing, so I tried. Long story short we passed the peg game around the table and everyone enjoyed playing it, even my children! So I decided to make this DIY Triangle Peg Game board. I purposely made the pegs much larger than the original game. It will be easier to find the pegs if kids throw them into a toy storage or somewhere else.

The triangle peg game is a fun, challenging game that looks very simple at first sight. As you’ll see, this game has a long history and still has many fans today. This would be a great game to make for your family or to give as a gift.

DIY Triangle Peg Game

History of the Triangle Peg Game

The triangle peg game is a version of peg solitaire, which is a fairly old game for a single player, which involves moving pegs on a board with holes. The number of holes can vary based on the type of peg solitaire one is playing, but the most common type of peg game in the United States is the triangle peg game, which consists of 15 holes arranged in a triangle, with one empty hole. This game is commonly found in a popular restaurant chain as a way for customers to enjoy themselves while waiting for a meal, and with good reason — it takes both skill and attention to detail to win, and it’s not as easy as it looks.

The first historical mention of peg solitaire goes all the way back to the court of Louis XIV, and it has also been shown in other engravings and art pieces from the seventeenth century. The earliest U.S. patent of the game is from 1891 and was the first known version of the game played on a triangular board, instead of a cross-shaped board like older versions.

How to Play The Triangle Peg Game

The triangle peg game is played on a board with 15 holes and 14 pegs. The empty hole can be anywhere on the board, though it is often simpler to start with the empty hole in one of the three corners of the triangle. You play by moving the pegs, jumping over a peg to an empty spot, and then removing the peg you jumped over. The object of the game is to only have one peg left on the board. Seems easy enough, until you try it!

There are very few winning jump combinations that will leave you with only one peg left, and the jumps have to be made in a particular order. 

If you end up with:

  • One Peg = You’re a Genius
  • Two Pegs = You’re Pretty Smart
  • Three Pegs = You’re Just Average

Winning the Triangle Peg Game

To win this game, you need to have only one peg remaining on the entire board, having jumped and removed the rest of them during play. Of course, it is often the case that the game will end before you reach that point, simply because you have “jumped” yourself into a corner and have no other moves to make. In that case, your only option is to start over again.

Keep practicing and have fun!

If you ever wanted to know how to win the triangle peg game to impress your friends, scroll to the bottom of this post for the cheat sheet. Follow these 13 steps to get only one peg remaining.

You also might be interested in the other game projects that I’ve built: DIY Pucket GameDIY Mancala Board Game, and Cornhole Boards with Scoreboard.

girl playing triangle peg game

Triangle Peg Game PDF


This PDF download includes Cut Diagrams, a List of Supplies, and 3D illustrations with detailed steps to build the project. Measurements are in imperial and not metric. Does NOT include SketchUp/CAD files.

The plans are embedded on the webpage for free, but if you would like to support the website, you can pay a small fee to purchase the printable PDFs.

Thank you for your support!

Triangle Peg Game 

If you are feeling generous today, you could give a small tip to help me create more projects. Thank you!

Material List

Note: Lumber dimensions are listed as nominal size.  See lumber sizes for actual dimensions vs nominal.

Disclosure: Some of the links on this page as well as links in “tools for this project” and “material list” sections are affiliate links. 


DIY Triangle Peg Game dimensions

Step 1 – Cut Two Triangle Boards

First, download and print the 11×17 template. Then cut out the template with succors and trace it over on to the 1×12 board. You will need to cut two of these triangle boards. If you don’t have a template then take 1×12 board and layout two triangles per provided dimensions in the cut list. The length of each triangle side should be 12 7/8″. Cut both triangles using a miter saw that has a sliding blade. Otherwise, you could just use a skill saw.

two boards for the DIY Triangle Peg Game
print template for the DIY Triangle Peg Game
cutting template for the DIY Triangle Peg Game
tracing over the template for the DIY Triangle Peg Game
cutting boards for the DIY Triangle Peg Game

Step 2 – Mark Center of Holes with a Nail

Tape the paper template on one of the triangles. Then place a regular nail over the center of the circle and hit slightly with a hammer leaving a mark on the wood were to drill the hole. Do this for all of the circles.

marking hole locations for the DIY Triangle Peg Game

Step 3 – Drill 15 Holes in the Upper Triangle Board

Clamp one of the boards to your workbench so that it doesn’t move. Then using a 1 3/8″ hole saw bit, place the bit over the nail mark and drill through the board. Drill all 15 holes.

board with holes for DIY Triangle Peg Game
drilling holes in the DIY Triangle Peg Game

Step 4 – Glue Boards Together

After all of the holes are drilled, take the second triangle and glue it on the bottom using just wood glue. Clamp the boards together and let the glue dry.

DIY Triangle Peg Game
gluing the boards together
clamping the boards together for the DIY Triangle Peg Game

Step 5 – Cut 14 Pegs From a Dowel Rod

Take 1 1/4″ wooden dowel rod (typically used in the closets for coat hangers) and using a miter saw cut 14 pieces to 1 1/2″ in length. You only need 14 pegs because one hole is always empty. Sand the edges on both sides of each peg to make then rounded.

pegs for triangle peg game
pegs for the DIY Triangle Peg Game

Step 6 – Stain or Paint

Sand the board on both sides to remove any rough edges and dry glue. Then you could stain it or leave it as is and only apply polyurethane for wood protection. I used Classic Gray stain on the pegboard and Dark Walnut on the pegs. You’re done with this simple DIY triangle peg game. Have fun!

DIY Triangle Peg Game
staining DIY Triangle Peg Game
staining pegs for the DIY Triangle Peg Game
girl playing triangle peg game

How to Win Triangle Pegboard Game?

how to wind triangle peg game
how to wind triangle peg game
how to wind triangle peg game

11 thoughts on “How to Make a DIY Triangle Peg Game”

    • Pete, There’s a section on the page where it says Click to download printable PDF Template. Just click on that, type in your name and email and then you should be able to download it.

  1. Great tut, thanks very much.

    The larger size pegs are ideal for kids.

    I made a number of them years ago using golf pegs.
    The base timber was Kiaat that I had in stock (nice smell when cutting :):):))

    The sizes differed from 11 holes to 21 holes (must be uneven number)

    They made excellent presents for kids and people who have a bar in their house.

    • Phillip, thanks for sharing. I didn’t know that there are triangle peg games with 21 holes. Maybe in the future, I’ll make one with 21 holes. Probably would need to make pegs slightly smaller.

  2. You can also make a straight one with 9 holes.

    4 Pegs one half one colour and 4 pegs different colour for the other half.

    The 9th hole is in the middle.

  3. Thank you – stuck working from home for the next couple of months – so something for Mr 16 who wants to be a chippy to have a go at.

  4. I think there’s a mistake in the second diagram of the (cyan) triangles with base and height listed.
    Height is listed as 11 1/8”, I think you meant 11 1/2”, which is the height of the board.
    I’m here with the board in front of me, and if I measure a leg from the corner of the board up to a height of 11 1/8” the leg is 12 5/8” long.
    However if I measure a leg from the corner up to a height of 11 1/2” then I get a leg of 12 7/8” as written in your instructions.


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