How to Play Cribbage


Cribbage is a complex game requiring players to understand various techniques for adding cards together and counting after play. Teaching children how to perform these actions is critical to ensure their enjoyment of this exciting pastime.

Start playing cribbage today by gathering a standard deck of cards and a cribbage board featuring 120 holes with pegs that keep score.


Cribbage is an intricate card game requiring math and strategy. Players score points by laying cards in runs or pairs, reaching 31, or declaring “go.” Although its rules are simple, prior preparation is critical to avoid wasting points by miscounting your opponent and calling “muggins.”

The dealer shuffles and cuts the deck at the start of each hand before handing out six cards to each player. He or she then selects one card from those issued to become the “starter” or “turn card” for the next round. If it turns out to be a Jack (he said so out loud!), two points will be awarded back to him (‘two for his heels”).

A non-dealer then places their pegs in their starting positions on their color track, and the dealer begins play by placing theirs in the center of the board. Each player starts laying down cards individually, with the dealer following suit.

Each player must count their cards in hand, then add any sets, runs, or fives that total 15 to form a total hand score of 15. Any additional cards placed into their crib will be counted for extra points at the end of the hand; padding your crib with high-value cards such as pairs or fives is an effective strategy to save points – an integral element to winning cribbage!

Once a player reaches 121 points, they win, and the score resets back to zero. Reaching this milestone may take time, but with some strategic planning, you can get it quickly and be around playing in no time!

Though classic card games such as bridge and chess can take decades to master, cribbage is much simpler – you can learn the fundamentals in just one sitting and, with some practice, will become a master quickly!


Cribbage requires two essential pieces of equipment to play, first being a standard deck of 52 cards without jokers and secondly, a cribbage board that keeps score during gameplay; each player gets two pegs on which cards can be scored as they enter their crib – with the player with the highest total by game’s end winning as dealer in subsequent matches and taking over their role as dealer for future encounters.

Before the game can commence, players must shuffle and cut the deck in turn – the player who misses the lowest card becomes the initial dealer and deals clockwise around the table. Each player then adds two cards from their hand onto a starter card (a crib card) to make four. Whoever has more cards in their crib counts them as points for scoring, while additional cards added by other players count toward their total.

While cribbage has existed for over 400 years, it remains a popular pastime. Unlike most card games, cribbage requires careful strategy and planning to play effectively; unlike its fast-paced counterparts, cribbage takes more time and patience when learning all its rules. However, once you grasp them all, this classic game will remain enjoyable for years.

Cribbage offers an intriguing scoring system. Players use traditional cribbage boards with two pegs per player: the rear peg records the previous tally, while the foremost peg records current totals. The objective is to be the first player to peg 121 or 61 points (depending on which version of the game is being played). Alternatively, you can purchase boards featuring additional holes for more points, allowing up to 180-point games with multiple players at a time.


Cribbage players frequently create variations to the rules of play that do not alter their fundamental nature but add depth and strategies that make the game fun. Common variations include switching around scoring orders (i.e., scoring kings before aces), scoring pairs and runs differently, and altering how the crib is used; these modifications do not violate any legal guidelines, yet can add different textures to each round.

One of the most popular variants of Peg Solitaire is eliminating the pegging phase. Instead, each player receives six cards for their hand before discarding two into the crib – this allows the first player who owns both their starter card and crib to score first using their hand and crib together. Furthermore, this variation enables multiple scoring opportunities at once, increasing your odds of victory!

Another variation uses a full deck of 52 cards without jokers; ranks are as follows: king, queen, jack, 10, 9, 8, and 7 from lowest to highest rank (KQJ8, 9,8&7). Players are cut for their initial deal; the player who misses the lowest card deals first. If any tie occurs in this process, reshuffle and cut are performed again before flipping over one card from the deck as the starter; it can then be used during the Show or counting phases instead of an actual king card.

Selecting which cards to discard requires strategic decision-making, and expert players consider this an integral aspect of the game; books have even been written on this topic! Generally, throwing high-scoring cards into your opponent’s crib and low-scoring ones into your crib is wise.

Pegging requires patience and careful consideration if you want to maximize scoring potential. If you have a robust initial card, such as 3 or 4, save it until later in the round so that you can use it to make runs and score further points. In addition, keep your aces and 2s in your crib in case you need them later for making 15-point combinations if necessary.


Cribbage is a card game where you score points by building combinations from cards in both your hand and crib. The game’s goal is to reach 121 points at any point during play – be it your score, during the show, or when the dealer pins “two for nobs.” Although its scoring system may initially seem complex, you’ll soon become an adept opponent once you grasp its intricacies!

The first step of scoring involves selecting a dealer. This can be done by cutting the deck before dealing six cards to each player; the one with the lowest card becomes the dealer, and the non-dealer is known as pone (non-dealer). After dealing two more cards to both parties, the dealer takes one from both hands and discards it into his or her bonus hand, known as a crib hand.

When the non-dealer scores, he or she begins by showing and scoring his or her hand, followed by the dealer offering and slicing his or her hand. Once done, both non-dealer and dealer count their hands and the crib separately before starting to trust each other’s hands as well as counting out any winning cards from either hand to “salt” the crib while keeping high-scoring pairs or runs within his hand – this is when actual skill of cribbage comes into play –

Each player receives points for possessing cards that add up to 15, forming pairs being part of a run, or having the jack of the same suit as the starter jack. These points are added to their total. A couple of fives counts five points; a run with duplicated cards (double run), eight; four of a kind (12); and a jack from the same suit counts 16!

For scoring purposes, all runs and pairs must follow the correct order to be considered valid runs and pairs. For instance, 5-JQ-A would not be suitable as Aces are low values while Jacks hold a discount of 10. All scoring must be performed aloud, so if any player accidentally overlooks scoring, an opponent can call “Muggins” to claim it as their score.