Penny-up is the British name for a game called Pitching Pennies, or Pitch and Toss. This is a game played with coins. Players take turns to throw a coin at a wall from a little distance away, and the coins which lands closest to the wall is the winner.
This game can be played by any number of players. Everyone lines up at a fixed distance from the wall. The players all take a coin of a common denomination, and all take turns to throw the coin at the wall. The object of the game is to throw the coins as close to the wall as possible. Rolling the coins is forbidden. Some forms of the game require players to hit the wall with the coins for the throw to be valid.
Broad Game Variations
In most variations of Penny-up this is a gambling game as well as blackjack. The winner will collect all the coins on the ground, from the losing players’. There is another variation of the game which includes the game ending in “tips”. This game whose coin is thrown closest to the wall collects all the other coins and flicks them all into the air. Before the coins can land on the ground, the player has to shout heads or tails. He is entitled to collect all the coins that land corresponding to the way he shouted. The remaining coins, if there are any would then be gathered by the player whose coins landed the second closest to the wall. He will then repeat the throwing and the calling of heads or tails. This process can continue until all the coins thrown are gathered up.
Different Ways of Scoring
There are several scoring variants that can be played. If a coin lands at an angle against the wall, this will enable the feature Double Money to be played. The total of the prize can then be doubled. Triple Money is a feature that rewards the thrower when his coin is standing vertically against the wall. In Scotland, this throw has a special name. It is called a “stauner”. If a coin hits another coin in the throw, this is called a Jingle, which means all shots must be taken again.
Shots must also be taken again if the two coins that are parallel to a tangent from the wall are the closest. If the coin rolls, the thrower has the choice of taking his throw again, if the coin is stamped on before it comes to a stop and lies flat. Each player has the opportunity for only two stamps. If a player throws a bad shot, and wishes to do the shot over again, he must shout “crap shot”. He is then allowed to take the throw again. Each player has only one chance to throw again.
This Is an Ancient Game
Pitching pennies is a very old game. The coins used have inevitably changed through the ages. The earliest example of the game was by the ancient Greeks, using bronze coins. The game was thought to have been played in the first Olympics, but was later removed. It is said that this was what gave rise to the idea of the gold medal.