PLAYING THE GAME OF CRIBBAGE
You’ll need a deck of cards, a cribbage board & each player uses a set of 2 matching pegs.
Object of Game
The object of the game is to score 121 points which are pegged on the board by points in your hands.
Description of Cribbage board
A cribbage board has tracks of holes for each player around the board. Start your 2 pegs in the starting holes. For large full track 120 hole boards, go once around the board and end in the finishing 121 hole. For travel sized boards or 1/2 track boards, you can play a short game to 61 points, or go around the board twice, skipping the finish hole on the first time around, and then ending in the finish hole on the last lap around the board for a total of 121 points. A peg is used to keep track of the points that you have scored throughout the duration of the game. Using one for the leading peg, and one trailing behind to use to count ahead of the leading peg each time you count & peg.
Step 1: The Basics
To play a game of cribbage you two people. The dealer deals six cards each.
To determine who deals first set the full deck of cards in front of each player and then everyone cuts from the same deck. Whoever cuts the lowest card wins the deal first. The dealer also changes people every time a new hand is dealt.
Pick up cards and put them in order from smallest to largest (Ace being the smallest and King being the largest).
The points system: Basic Hands
• Any cards that add up to the sum of 15
• Pairs (two of the same card)
• Flushes (four or more of the same suit)
• Runs of 3 or more, any suit (runs are cards that are in numerical order)
Determine which combination of cards will get the most points because you will have to discard two of them into the crib.
Discard two cards that you are not going to use for your hand. These discards are placed face down in a pile in front of the dealer which is known as the crib. The crib is a four card hand that is made up of discards which the dealer will count for extra points at the end of the hand.
After discarding, the game can begin. The person that did not deal, cuts the remaining deck of cards and the dealer pulls the top card off of the cut deck. The card that is cut, which is known as the cut card, is laid down on top of the remaining deck where it will come into play later in the game. Now the person that did not deal, lays down the first card face down from the hand that they are holding. When they lay the first card, that person needs to announce the face value of that card. Everything is face value up to ten with the jack, queen, and king having a face value of ten as well. Typically you want to start off by laying down the highest card in your hand.
After the first person lies down and announces the face value then it is the dealer that will lay down one of their cards from their hand in an attempt to add up to 15 for two points. Another way to score two points, while laying down, is to lay the same card right after the last one is laid (for example a two laid after a two). Another way is to lay a card down in a run of three (for example one person lays a 7, then the other lays a 6, then the other person lays a 8) which would result in the person saying 21 for three and then peg three points on the board. The last way to score points while laying down is to add up to 31. This is the highest number that someone can add up to.
Repeat step 7 going back and forth laying cards down and adding cards up until you reach 31 or cannot go any longer in which the person that laid the last card before the other person couldn’t go gets a point for a go. After the person gets a go then the person that couldn’t go before (without going over 31) starts over and lies another card face up from their hand.
Once all the cards have been laid down then it is time to count your hand again. To start counting your hand you need to first determine all the different ways that a card can add up to 15. If you have any 15’s then you need to say 15 for 2 and if you have more than one combination that adds up to 15 then you proceed saying 15 for 4 and so on until you finish counting your combos of 15. You also need to determine if you have any pairs, runs, or three-of-a-kinds. Then you would peg that total number of holes on the board.
If you cut the cards at the beginning of the game and cut a jack instead of a nine or any other card the person that cuts that jack gets two points for cutting the jack.
The person that did not deal will count their hand first and proceed around back to the dealer. The cut card as mentioned earlier comes into play and can be used to help get you more points in your hand. Once the dealer counts his main hand, remember the dealer also has the crib or all of the cards that were discarded in the beginning of the hand to count now to for more points.
After that the crib is turned over and counted in the same manner for the person that has that crib during that hand.
Once the counting is finished this process starts all over but with the that did not deal last time starts dealing the next hand. This process continues until one of the players gets 121 points or more altogether, therefore completing the game.