Basic Rules Of Cribbage

Posted : admin On 10.03.2021
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Two to four people may play. These cribbage rules describe two-player cribbage. Rule variations for three- and four-player cribbage are given after the basic rules.

A cribbage board and a standard deck of 52 cards (jokers discarded). A typical cribbage board is show below.

The object of cribbage is to be the first player to score 121 points.

Cut the deck to determine who deals. Low card deals. Aces are low (one). For subsequent games, the loser deals.

The dealer deals 6 cards to each player.

If you are not familiar with the game of Cribbage, this article might not make a lot of sense, but the basic premise of the scoring is based on groupings in sets of five cards. A player has four cards in his/her hand, and there is a common card, which is “turned up” to make five. A standard cribbage board usually comes with 3 different colors on the face of it with 121 holes in each color. It also contains three pegs of each color which are kept in the back of the board in a small compartment. A peg is used to keep track of the points that you have scored throughout the duration of the game. See full list on Nov 28, 2012 Cribbage is traditionally played with two people, but you can also play with four (two on two) or with three with modified rules. It can also be played with either five or six cards, but the latter is by far the most common and popular version. See full list on

The opponent puts two cards face-down into the dealer’s “crib”. The dealer also puts two cards face-down into the crib.

The opponent cuts the deck. The dealer takes one card off the deck at the cut point and places it face-up on the table. If this card is a jack, the dealer scores 2 points. This card will also be used later when scoring the hands.

The opponent starts by playing one card face-up on the table. Players alternate turns. On their turn, each player announces the cumulative value of the cards played. An ace is worth 1, face cards are worth 10, all others are worth their face value.

When a player cannot play a card without the cumulative total exceeding 31, that player says “go” and passes their turn. The other player then continues to play all the cards they can without exceeding 31. When no more cards can be played, the count restarts at 0 and play continues. The player who said “go” plays the first card. Players can’t use cards played in the previous run to 31 for scoring combinations in this new counting round.


Points are scored in cribbage as follows:

Pair, three-of-a-kind, four-of-a-kind:

If a player follows another player’s card with a card of the same value, that player scores 2 points. They commonly say “a pair is 2”. If a player plays a third card of the same value (three-of-a-kind), they score 6 points. A fourth card (four-of-a-kind) scores 12.


A run (a straight) of 3 or more cards scores 1 point per card. The cards do not have to run in order. For example, if the cards are played 7-5-6, the player who played the 6 scores 3 points for the run. The other player could then lay down a 4, for example, and score 4 points for a four-card run.


If a player plays a card that brings the cumulative total to 15 exactly, they score 2 points. Reaching 31 exactly also scores 2 points.


When a player passes (says “go”), the other player scores 1 point.


The player who plays the final card, without reaching a total of 31, scores 1 point.

Clarification on scoring a go: If the player who scores the go then plays a card to reach 31, they score one point for the go but only one additional point for reaching 31.


The cards are played 8-7-7-6. The dealer played the 8. Then the opponent played the 7 and scored 2 points because the total is 15. Then the dealer played the second 7 and scored 2 points for the pair. Then the opponent played the 6 and scored nothing (this is not a run because of the extra, intervening 7).

Next, the players score the cards in their hand. They use the cut card as part of their hand. The opponent goes first and the dealer last. The dealer will score the value of the cards in their hand, then separately score the value of the cards in the crib also using the cut card.

Here is how points are scored for this round of play:


A pair scores 2 points. Three-of-a-kind scores 6. Four-of-a-kind scores 12.


A run of three or more cards scores 1 point per card.


Simple Rules Of Cribbage

A combination of two or more cards that add up to 15 exactly scores 2 points.


A four card flush in the hand (not in the crib and not including the cut card) scores 4 points. A five card flush including the cut card, in the hand or crib, scores 5.

His Nobs:

A jack of the same suit as the cut card (which is called His Nobs) scores 1 point.

Players may use the same card more than once to make multiple scoring combinations.


The player has 7-7-7-8 and the cut card is a 9. The player scores 6 for three-of-a-kind. He can make 15 three ways (7 plus 8) so scores another 6 points. Also the player can make three runs of 7-8-9 for 9 points. The player’s total score for this hand is 21 points.

For more assistance, see our cribbage scoring chart which lists the correct scores for most hard-to-count hands.

The winner is the first player to reach 121 points. If the loser fails to score at least 91 points, they are “skunked”. In match play, this is the equivalent of losing 2 games. If the player fails to score at least 61 points, they are “double-skunked”, which is the equivalent of losing 4 games. For scoring purposes, remember that the non-dealer counts their hand first. If they reach 121, the dealer can not count their points to try to avoid being skunked.

Deal five cards to each player and one to the crib. Each player then gives one card to the crib.

Deal five cards to each player. Each player then gives one card to the crib.


When the players get to the last 5 holes at the end of the game, my friend plays that you can only peg out, and that you can’t count your cards if you’re in the last 5 holes. He says that you have to have the exact number to peg out and win! I’ve always played that when you’re in the STINK HOLE, which is the last hole only, that you can only peg out; that you can’t count your cards at that time. But he insists it starts at the last FIVE holes, and then you can only peg out, and you can’t count your hand if you are in those last five holes! Is there only a STINK HOLE or is there a LAST FIVE HOLE pegging only?


In the most common rules, it doesn’t matter how you reach 121 points. You can peg out or count out. And you don’t need to reach 121 exactly. It’s okay to overshoot it. However, I have seen variations that require you to peg out if you are in the next to last hole. Your friend’s variation is new to me. But any variation is okay as long as players agree to it beforehand. For official tournament rules, refer to the American Cribbage Congress rules.


In a run, is it possible to reverse a run for points? For example:

Yukon gold casino sign up bonus codes. 3-4-5-6-3

3-4-5-6 = 4pts

Does 4-5-6-3 also get 4pts?


No, you can’t reverse the run. In your example 3-4-5-6-3, you would count 8 points for two unique runs as follows:

3-4-5-6 (using one 3) for 4 points

3-4-5-6 (using the other 3) for another 4 points


I need your help on the rules of crib, in particular the cutting of the deck to determine who deals first. If the two cards cut are both picture cards is it the lowest picture card wins or are they both classed as a ten card? Please help settle an arguement.


Normal card rank applies. For example, on person cuts a Jack and the other a Queen. The Jack deals. Also remember that Aces are low.

Sometimes written rules can be a little confusing. For a visual explanation of the rules to Cribbage, watch the video below.

OBJECTIVE OF CRIBBAGE: Be the first player to score 121 points (or 61 points).

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2-3 players

NUMBER OF CARDS: standard 52-card

RANK OF CARDS: K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A

MATERIALS: Cribbage board




Cribbage is a 400-year-old game that descended from an English card game known as “Noddy.” The creator of the game was Sir John Suckling, who was an English poet. The most interesting facet of cribbage is its use of a cribbage board to keep score, rather than a pen and paper. This also makes scoring more efficient which in turns makes the game more fast-paced and engaging.

This game is tailored for 2 or 3 players, however, players can form teams of two in a four player game.

The goal of the game is to accumulate points to the target 121 points (or 61 points). Points are earned by making card combinations.


A Cribbage Boards has 4 rows with 30 holes in each row. The rows are split into two sets of rows by a middle panel. Each player receives a total of 121 continuous holes on some boards. The board is kept between the players. Each player grabs two pegs that are the same color. Every time a player scores, they move a peg along their side of the board. 1 hole = 1 point. Pegs jump each other to demonstrate the increment of the points gained between turns. A game of 61 points is referred to as a “once around” and a game of 121 points as a “twice around.”


Using a shuffled deck, each player cuts a single card, leaving a minimum if four cards at the end of the deck. If two players draw cards of equal rank they must draw again. The player who has the lowest cut card deals first. The deal alternates after the first hand. However, when starting a new game the loser of the previous one is the first dealer. The dealer shuffles the cards last and lets a non-dealer cut the deck before dealing.

After, the dealer passes each player 6 cards face-down, starting with their opponent or the player to their left.

Rules For Cribbage For Beginners


Players examine their 6 card hand and must “lay away” two cards for a total of four cards in hand. Those four cards laid away are “the crib.” The crib is the dealer’s, however, these cards are not revealed until after the hands are played.


Once the rib is “laid away,” a non-dealer player cuts the deck. The top card of the lower part of the deck is placed on top. This is the starter card. If this card is a jack, it is referred to as “His Heels,” dealer pegs 2 (scores 2) points. This card is not used in Cribbage play but is used rather later when players make card combinations.


After the starter was flipped, the nondealer plays a single card on the table, face-up. Then the dealer follows, revealing a card. This continues back and forth, their hands being exposed one card at a time. Players keep the cards in their hands separate.

Each player must announce the running total of the value of cards by adding the one they are playing to the one previously played. For example, play beings with a 2, the nondealer says, “two.” Next, the dealer plays an 8, they say “ten.” Kings, Queens, and Jacks are all worth 10 points. Number cards are worth face value or pip value.


The cards running total cannot exceed 31. Once a player cannot play a card without going over 31, they must say “go.” Their opponent then pegs 1. After the Go, the opponent can play any cards in hand that can be played without making the total exceed 31. They can also score points for pairs and runs, which are described below. If a player hits 31 exactly, they peg 2. Whoever called Go leads in the next phase of play, the count begins at zero again. You cannot lead the next phase with cards previously used to score combinations. Whoever plays the last card gets to peg 1 for Go and an extra peg if they land directly on 31.


The goal of the game is to collect points through pegging. Players can score points for a Go and the following combinations:

Fifteen: Playing a card that makes the total = 15, Peg 2

Basic Rules Of Euchre

Pair: Playing a card of equal rank as the one previously played, Peg 2

Four (Double Pair, Double Pair Royal): Adding the 4th card of same value, Peg 12

Run (Sequence): Adding cards, that with cards previously played, form:

  • Sequence of 3, Peg 3
  • Sequence of 4, Peg 4
  • Sequence of 5, Peg 5
  • Each next card in a sequence, Peg 1 each

Be careful to keep cards in the order which they were played.


Once play finishes, the three hands are counted in this order: non-dealer, dealer, crib. Non-dealers can “count out” near the end of the game and win before the dealer has the opportunity to count their hand. The starter applies to each hand so they both total 5 cards. They are counted as follows:

Fifteen: Each set of cards that total 15, 2 points each

Pair: Two cards of equal rank, 2 points each

Run: Sequence of 3+ cards, 1 point per card

Cribbage: Rules - LearnPlayWin

Flush: 4 cards of the same suit (not including the crib or the starter), 4 points

4 cards in hand or in the crib that are the same suit as the starter, 5 points

His Nobs: Jack of the same suit as the starter either in hand or in the crib, 1 point each


Cribbage can be set at either 121 points or 61 points and the game ends once a player reaches the target points. If the non-dealer goes out first the dealer does not get to score their hand and the game ends. If one player goes out before the other reaches half the target score, the loser is said to be “lurched,” and the winner scores for 2 games rather than just 1. Some variations play “skunk” or double game, which means if the loser fails to meet 3/4 the target point the winner wins a double game. And, if the player doesn’t reach the half of the target score, it’s a “double skunk” or quadruple game.


How To Play Cribbage Rules

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