Cribbage A fun game of counting What is Cribbage Cribbage is a card game for two players. Described by some as 'a game of low, animal cunning', it demands skill, experience, craftiness and luck to win. Card Values Aces are worth 1. 2-10 are worth face value. All Face Cards are worth 10. The suits are all treated equally. Starting the game Each player is dealt 6 cards. The players keep 4 and discard 2 cards into a “crib” which is basically a bonus hand for the dealer. Then the non-dealer or pone, cuts the deck and selects the starter card. This is a community card that is encorporated into both players hands’. If the starter card is a jack the dealer gets 2 for “his heels.” Pegging The first phase of the game. The pone begins by laying down a card, face up. Then the players alternate laying down cards and summing the total of the values of the cards. Forgot what cards are worth? Click here This continues until the total reaches 31 or until neither player can play a card and keep the total 31. At which point the counting begins again at zero. Each player is responsible for counting their own points, but is double checked by their opponent. Scoring Score Value Comment 15 2 Sum of cards = 15 pair 2 Two of a kind Run 1 per card Runs need not be in numerical order e.g. 5-6-7 or 10, J, Q. Go 1 The go is scored by the last player to lay a card. 31 2 Sum of cards = 31. This includes the “go” point. Counting The second phase of the game. Players now score their hands, using the same scoring rules. With the addition of a flush. For a flush all cards in your hand must be the same suit and is worth 4. If the starter is the same suit then the flush is worth 5, in the crib the starter must match the suit of all 4 cards for a flush. The pone counts first and moves their pegs. Then the dealer counts their hand and then their crib. Examples of how to count Suppose a player has the cards 1,1,2,3 and a king is the starter card. They score 4 in fifteens 2 for 1,1,3,K and 2 for 2,3,K. They score 2 for pairs for 1,1. They score 6 for runs, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3. Notice the 1 is different in each run. If they have a flush that is counted next 4 or 5 if the starter card matches their cards’ suit. Finally if the player has a jack in their hand that matches the suit of the starter card they receive one point for “nobs.” One more example Consider a hand of 3,4,7,8 and a 5 is the starter card. They receive 6 for fifteens, (3,4,8), (7,8), and (3,5,7) There are no pairs. They would get 3 for the run 3,4,5. Then we would look for flushes. Facts about hands It’s impossible to score 19 in one hand. Try it, it just doesn’t work. Among cribber’s a 19- hand is slang for I’ve got zero. The highest point total possible is 29. This is when you have 3 5’s and the jack that is of a different suit to your 3 5’s. Then the starter card must be the last 5 that matches the suit of your jack. The odd’s of having such a hand is 1 in 216,580. Winning! To win one player must get at least 121 points before the other player. Remember the pone counts first, so even if the dealer outscores them, if the pone reaches 121 before the dealer they are the winner. Boards There are many boards and some player make their own. Here are a few. Where to play Yahoo has a free cribbage site. Look for me in the intermediate lounge under the screen name billie_uu. There are also tournaments you can go to with cash prizes. There are many sites on the internet where you can play or learn more. Some of my favorites are the American Cribbage Congress and Cribbage Corner.