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Sabong’s Basic Rules: Everything You Need to Know

by Jayson Ronald

Sabong can be traced back to the 14th century, and it continues to be enjoyed by many Filipinos today. Here are the basic rules of sw418 sabong.

The Peg or Knife Fight

The most common type of sabong is the peg or knife fight, in which two cocks with metal spikes attached to their legs fight until one of them dies. The metal spikes, or gaffs, can range in length from 2 to 4 inches. In a peg or knife fight, the goal is to kill your opponent as quickly as possible.

The Slasher Fight

In a slasher fight, only one cock wears gaffs while the other fights sans gaffs. This type of sabong is less common than the peg or knife fight, but it can be just as brutal. Slasher fights often go on for longer because it takes more direct hits with the gaffs to kill one cock outright.

            Derby fights are another type of sabong in which both cocks wear gaffs. These fights tend to be shorter than slasher fights because both cocks have an equal chance of inflicting serious wounds on their opponent.

Gaffless Fights

Gaffless fights are the least common type of sabong, but they are gaining in popularity due to concerns about animal welfare. In a gaffless fight, neither cock wears any sort of metal spike or weapon; they fight using only their natural weaponry. Gaffless fights can go on for a long time because it takes a lot of pecking and scratching to kill one cock outright.


Wagering is a big part of sabong culture. People place bets on which cock they think will win, and sometimes even on how long a particular fight will last. Cockfights are usually organized into different categories based on the weight and age of the birds, and this helps people decide who they want to bet on.


Sabong is a blood sport that has been enjoyed by Filipinos for centuries. If you want to participate in this popular pastime, it’s important to understand the basic rules.

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