This is the first form of gambling a young South Philly kid was introduced to, besides Uncle Giuseppe betting the ponies at the local bar. Pitching pennies was a favorite pastime and kids would save their lunch and chore money to play.
The first step to pitching pennies would be to find a nice open wall with a smooth pavement. The game was played by pitching (or throwing underhand) your penny towards a wall one player per round. The person with their penny closest to the wall got to keep all the pennies that were pitched. A leaner was almost a guarenteed win, unless some smart ass knocked your penny down or got a leaner which was higher up the wall. A leaner was a penny that leaned against the wall while standing on the pavement.
As I was growing up we played with nickels and even quarters. By the time the 80's rolled around, you could not get anything for a penny anymore!