About the game of Cribbage:

  • Cribbage is a card game of both luck and skill, played with a deck of 52 cards, jokers removed
  • Traditionally Cribbage is played 2 to 6 players (But not 5)
  • In the League we play singles and doubles games, where two or four players play in each game.  We also hold a triples competition where two teams of three players compete against each other. 
  • The basic prinicple of the game is to score 121 points before your opponent or opponents do.
  • Scoring can be done using a pen and paper if you do not have a cribbage board.  In the league we use cribbage peg boards to keep score.
  • Points scored during play is known as "pegging" as the pegs are moved around the board to note each player's score.  Each player will also score points for the totals in their hands.

Playing the game

The Deal

  • Play begins by two players from opposing teams cutting the pack.  The player cutting the lowest card wins the box, where Ace is Lowest and King is highest.  If the players cut the same value card then the cards are replaced and re cut.
  • The player who won the cut becomes the first dealer, who may shuffle the pack if they choose to do so
  • The pack must then be offered to the player to the dealer's right to cut the pack, the dealer deals from the remaining cards after the card.
  • The dealer deals one card to each player in turn until each has 5 cards face down in front of them, in a singles game the dealer will then deal 2 cards face down into the box,  and then returns all spare cards to the pack.
  • Each player then looks at their five cards and makes a decision which card to discard into the dealer's box, Now each player has 4 cards in their hand and their are 4 cards in the dealer's box, still lying face down on the table.
  • The player to the left of the dealer must then cut the pack and the top card of ther remaining pile is turned over and placed on the top of the pack.  This is called the "turn up"This card counts towards points scored in each player's hand and in the dealer's box. Scoring and points will be detailed lower down the page

​Pegging

  • The player to the left of the dealer has "first down" and lays the first card of play by choosing one of their cards and laying it down in front of them and stating the cards value
  • The player to the left of the first down player now has to lay a card in front of them face up and states the total value of the two cards played.  
  • During play players can score points for various combinations of cards (See the scoring section) and each player lays a card in turn stating the total value of all cards laid so far.  The maximum total for all cards laid is 31.  If a player can not lay a card without taking the total over 31 a "go" is called by that player.  Play continues until no more cards can be played.  The player to lay the last card of play recieves one point for the "go" and recieves an additional 1 point if the total of all laid cards is 31
  • The cards that have been laid are then turned face down in front of each player
  • Play then starts again with the first player to lay being the player to the left of the player who laid the last card.
  • Play continues until all players have run out of cards.  The player to lay the final card recieves one point for "last card"

Points scoring during Pegging

  • 2 points are awarded to the dealer if the "turn up" card on the top of the pack is a Jack
  • 2 points are scored if a player lays a card of the same value of the previous card laid, making a "pair"
  • 6 points are scored if three consecutive laid cards have the same face value (These three cards are able to make three different pairs, hence 6 points, 2 points for each possible pair)
  • 12 points are scored if four consecutive cards are laid with she same face value (These four cards can form six different pairs, hence 12 points, 2 points for each pair)
  • 2 points are scored if the total value of all laid cards makes 15
  • 3 points are scored if the card laid completes a run of three cards, but the run must be laid in order going upwards, e.g 2, 3, 4 (in league rules 2,4,3 does not count as a run.  The next player can then lay a fourth card in the run for 4 points and so on.
  • 2 points are awarded if the total value of all laid cards makes 31
  • 1 point is awarded for a "go" when no other cards can be played without taking the total of all laid cards over 31.  The point is awarded to the player who laid the last card.
  • 1 point is awarded to the player who lays the last card of the hand.

Counting of Hands

  • The player to the left of the dealer has first down and counts the score in their hand first, remembering to include the cut "turn up" card on the top of the pack, the total score of the hand is added to their score on the pegging board (or added to their total using pen and paper)
  • The player to the first player's left then counts their hand and their score is added to the pegging board.  
  • Hand scoring continues until all players have counted their hands, finishing with the dealer, who counts their hand and then counts the score in their box hand. This score is also added to the dealer's score.

Points Scoring of Hands.

  • 2 points are awarded for every pair of cards that can be made (2 points one pair, 6 points for three of a kind and 12 points for four of a kind)
  • 2 points are made for each set of cards adding up to 15
  • 1 point is scored for each card in a "run" of three or more cards in sequence (Suit is irrelevant)
  • 1 point is awarded for a Jack which has the same suit as the "turn up" card
  • 4 or 5 points are awared for a "flush" All four cards in the player's "hand" must be of the same suit to receive four points and an additional point is awarded if the "turn up" is also of the same suit.  In the box however all 5 cards must be of the same suit to recieve points for a flush.
  • Cards can be used more than once to score points. For example A A 2 3 scores 6 points as you can form 2 runs of three cards, where the same 2 and 3 are used in both sets of runs.
Example hands


 Hand                                                                                                       Turn Up








Points scored for this hand:

  • 6 points are awarded for the fours (we can make 3 different pairs, scoring 2 points each)
  • 6 points are awarded for making 3 scores of 15 (4+5+6 three times)
  • 9 points awarded for making three runs of three (4,5,6 three times)

Total score = 21


​ Hand                                                                                                       Turn Up








Points Scored for this hand:

  • 6 points are awarded for the sevens (3 pairs)
  • 12 points are awared for making 6 scores of 15 (8 + 7  3 times and 7 + 7 + 1  3 times)

Total Score = 18


 Hand                                                                                               Turn Up








Points Scored for this hand

  • 5 points are awarded for a flush (All cards same suit)
  • 3 points are awarded for one run (5,6,7)
  • 4 points are awarded for making 15 (J + 5 and 7 + 3 + 5)
  • 1 point is awarded for "his nibs" (The Jack in the hand is the same suit as the turn up card)

Total Score = 13

Hand                                                                                                Turn Up









Points Scored for this hand

  • 2 points for a pair of threes
  • 6 points for 15s (10 + 2 + 3 twice and 9 + 3 + 3)

Total Score = 8 Points

Perfect Hand (Maximum score!)

Hand                                                                                                Turn Up








Points scored for this hand
  • 16 points for 15s (   < J & 5S> < J & 5H> <5C, 5D & 5S>  <5C, 5D & 5H> <5D, 5S & 5H> <5C, 5S, 5H>)
  • 12 points for four of a kind - 6 different pairs < 5C, 5D> <5C, 5S> <5C, 5H> <5D, 5S> <5D, 5H> <5S, 5H>
  • 1 point for the Jack being the same suit as the turn up.

​Total Score = 29 points ​​
Example Scoring during pegging

Dealt Hand (5 cards)








You must chose which card to discard into the box, in this example we will discard the                      into your own box

Your opponent then cuts the pack and the turn up is:






Your Opponent has to lay first and they lay the following card:






You now have to lay a card, bearing in mind that you "peg" points if you either lay the same card as your opponent to make a pair or you can make the total value of the cards laid to make 15. You also need to think about what your opponent may have in their hand and try and prevent them from scoring pegging points. Below is an example of how you could play
Turn:                                              1                                   2                                             3                                         4

Opponents Laid Cards:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can't
​                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Go




Your Laid Cards:





Total Value of cards laid:             14                                15                                            23                                        23

Your Points:                                  2                                  0                                              0                                          1

​Opponents Points:                        0                                  2                                              0                                        GO


Turn:                                                        5                                                                          6                                       
Opponents Laid Cards:

        
                                                                                                                                                                    Can't GO



Your Laid Cards:






Total Value of cards laid:                              29                                                                       29                                                 

                
Your Points:                                                   0                                                                        
1                                                                 

​Opponents Points:                                          0                                                                        0    



                
Turn:                                                   7                                     8                                               9                                 
Opponents Laid Cards:






Your Laid Cards:





Total Value of cards laid:                   9                                   14                                        24                                             
                
Your Points:                                       0                                    0                                          0                       

​Opponents Points:                              0                                    0                                        
 1 (last card)

Total Pegged Points

You:                   5

Opponent:          3