How to Play Cribbage is one of the very ancient yet popular games that was derived from a card game called Noddy. The game can be played with 2 or 3 players and teams of 2 can be made for a 4-player game.
The game uses a Cribbage board in order to keep the score.
If you are interested to know more about Cribbage and how to play Cribbage, keep reading further.
- Cribbage game objective – Be the first player to score 121 points (or 61 points).
- Number of Players – 2-3 players
- Number of Cards – 52-deck of standard playing cards
- Order of Cards – From high to low – K, Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A
- Game Materials – Cribbage board
- Game Type – Card game
- Game Audience – 10+
As said before, the Cribbage game requires a Cribbage board in order to keep the scores. It is basically a board that has 4 rows and each row has 30 holes in it.
A middle panel splits these 4 rows are split into 2 sets. The board is placed between the players.
All players take 2 pegs of the same color. So when a player scores, they have to move a peg along the side of this board.
Every hole gives 1 point. Players have to decide before the game begins, the target score. It can be either of the two –
1. 61 Points = Once Around
2. 121 Points = Twice Around
How to Deal
Cards are shuffle and all players cut a single card leaving at least 4 cards at the end. In case 2 players draw cards of the same rank, they are required to draw again.
The player who cut the lowest card is the first dealer. After the first hand, the deal alternates.
But when you start a new game, the player who lost in the previous game deals now. The dealer, after shuffling the cards, lets the non-dealer cut the deck before he deals.
Then the dealer will pass 6 faced down cards to each player beginning from their left.
Players now take a look at their cards and have to lay away 2 cards such that the number of cards in their hand is 4. The 4 cards are known as the Crib. These cards are not exposed until they are played.
How to Play
After laying away the crib, the non-dealer player cuts the deck. The card from the top of the lower part of the deck is put on the top and is called the Starter card.
If this card comes out to be a jack, it is called as ‘His Heels’. This card is used for card combinations.
After flipping the starter card, the non-dealer plays a card faced up on the table. Then the dealer reveals a card. This goes on and the players keep the cards in their hands separately.
All players have to announce the total value of cards by adding the currently playing one with the earlier played one. The Kings, Queens and Jack are worth 10 points each. The numbered cards retain their face value.
This happens when a player cannot play card without exceeding 31. The game requires that the cards running total cannot go above 31. So if a player faces such a situation, they have to ‘go’.
Their opponent pegs 1 and can play any card in hand such that it does not exceed 31. The opponent can also score points for runs and pairs as mentioned below.
In case a player’s sum total is 31, they get pegs 2. The player who called ‘go’ in a game has to lead in the next part of the game. The player who plays the last card will get peg 1 for Go and an additional peg if they get exactly 31.
In Cribbage, the players are required to collect points via pegging. Players get to collect such points by ‘going’ as mentioned above and through the below combinations –
1. Fifteen = Peg 2 for playing a card that totals up to 15.
2. Pair = Peg 2 for playing a card of the same rank as the one played before
3. Four = Peg 12 for adding the fourth card of the same value
4. Run = Adding cards that form the below with the earlier played cards –
- Sequence of 3 – Peg 3
- Sequence of 4 – Peg 4
- Sequence of 5 – Peg 5
- Each next card in a sequence, Peg 1 each.
After completing the game, the 3 hands are calculated for scores in the sequence –
2. Dealer and
Here, the non-dealers have the option to count out at the end of the game so as to win before the dealer even gets the opportunity to count their hand. The cards are counted in the below manner –
- Fifteen = 2 Points each for every set of cards that sump up to 15.
- Pair = 2 points each for two cards of the same rank.
- Run = 1 point for each card for a Sequence of 3+ cards.
- Flush = 4 points for 4 cards of the same suit (not including the crib or the starter). 5 points for 4 cards in hand or in the crib that belong to the same suit as the starter.
- His Nobs = 1 point for every Jack of the same suit as the starter card either in the crib or in hand.
Who Wins Cribbage?
The player who reaches the target point of the game set before the game begins is the winner. The cribbage can be set at 61 or 121 points.
In case the non-dealer player goes out first, then the dealer does not get to score their hand and the game finishes.
In case a player goes out before the other player score half the target points, then the loser is called – ‘lurched’. At such situations, the winner scores for 2 games than 1.
In a few variations of Cribbage, double game or skunk is played where if the loser does not score 3/4th of the target score, the winner will win a double game.
When a player does not score half of the target score, it is called as Quadruple game or Double Skunk.