How to Play Cribbage


Cribbage is a game of skill and strategy, yet its complex rules and scoring system may be intimidating for beginners. Each card’s value should be remembered during each hand of play to maximize chances of success.

Players receive six cards for their hand and two face-down cards for the crib. Players must discard any cards that do not form good combinations by “pegging,” while keeping track of points is also vitally important.


Cribbage is a card game to score points by building point-scoring combinations using card combinations that add up to 15 or more and keeping score with pegs. To become the first player to reach 121 points or higher. Each hand of play ends when someone lays down cards totaling 15 or more; at that moment, their peg advances one space forward.

A dealer shuffles and distributes six cards to each player, with two being set aside as crib cards by nondealer players. Once dealt, the dealer turns up one card from the deck called the turn card or starter; if it contains a jack card, it immediately scores two points (known as nibs). Otherwise, players begin achieving by counting in-hand cards and crib card combinations.

Various strategies in cribbage allow players to score points, and knowing the value and order of every card in an opponent’s hand is vital for success. Aces have one value, while jacks, queens, and kings carry ten values each. It is, therefore, wise to remain alert throughout a game about where cards in an opponent’s hand lie within their order and value structure.

Counting cards is integral to learning cribbage, and practicing beforehand is vital. The more you practice, the better you understand how the game works and which cards should remain in your hand to prevent counting errors that could cost you the game. Furthermore, practice allows you to try various point-scoring combinations and learn to lead from your pair, giving an early edge against your opponent.


All that’s necessary to play cribbage is a standard deck of playing cards, a cribbage board with pegs, two players, and an appropriate board featuring two tracks of holes to track the score during gameplay. There are various designs of boards – the classic style is flat wooden boards featuring curved paths for pegs; additionally, there should also be two pegs per color to keep score.

Players in the Play phase earn points by playing cards that add up to 15 and creating runs of consecutive cards (i.e., 9-J-Q = nine points while a pair of 5s = six). In Show, the highest possible hand score can reach 29; you need one jack card and four fives from one suit plus one starter card to achieve this feat.

At first deal, the dealer cuts and deals each player six cards from the deck. Each non-dealer picks two to put into their crib, while dealers also place all six in theirs. The top card of each pack serves as the “starter,” providing a more accessible reference point when counting points; if it is a Jack as starter card (known as nibs), two points will be awarded to him/her by this reference point. After initial deals, players play cards and score their points until one player reaches 121 points (or another set number, such as 5/7 games, depending on the rules).


Cribbage is a game of skill and strategy, which may take time to learn how to play effectively. Once you do get it down pat, though, it can be immensely satisfying and fulfilling! To start playing well, you need a basic understanding of the scoring system, terminology, card values, and orders, such as how aces always count one while jacks, queens, and kings count 10. Additionally, runs of cards should not exceed 15 in total, so this should also be kept in mind: for instance, 9-J-Q wouldn’t count as a run-through card total of 15 total this would not count.

Dealing is the cornerstone of cribbage. The player who cuts the lowest card deals first, and then each player receives six cards to keep for their hand and two to put into the crib – It is wiser to save lower cards in your crib as they often pair more quickly than higher ones and may help create 15s if playing close to Fourth Street.

Once the play is over, each player counts their hand and crib in turn. When counting aloud, each must announce their total. If players miss points during their count, their opponent can call out “Muggins!” to capture those scores.

At least 121 points must be scored to win this game, which can be accomplished over several deals and requires being the first to make combinations of cards that score. Points are awarded for pairs, runs, flushes (matching starter card with jack), plus any combination that includes an Ace or Five of King or Jack pairs.


Keeping track of everyone’s score is an integral component of cribbage. Each player must count their own cards in hand and on the cribbage board and be aware of runs, pairs, or sets that add up to 15. A standard cribbage board can be purchased online; players can use pen and paper.

When playing cribbage, the player to the dealer’s left is responsible for counting their cards during the play phase. They remove one of their pegs and move it six holes forward on their cribbage board by counting six holes ahead to start scoring. This action, known as “going,” rewards them with two points every time their peg is moved forward on the board.

Additionally, players must keep track of all cards they discard from their hands – a good discard strategy is essential to winning cribbage! Two practical approaches aim to hold onto the highest point cards while not giving up runs or pairs to an opponent.

Cribbage gives two points per pair of identically ranked cards 16 for an entire run; however, only 14 points will be awarded if a double-double run occurs since both runs have been combined into one score.

When playing cribbage, winning will earn one match point and give you the right to be the dealer in the next hand. By successfully outwitting an opponent’s attempts at winning a hand or scoring two match points in any way against them, two additional match points are added, and you earn the opportunity to be first in play in future hands.


Cribbage is a card game in which players score points for the cards they possess and hold in their hands and crib. The player with the highest hand wins. Cribbage can be played between two or three players (two on one) using various scoring methods, typically using 52 cards shuffled and distributed evenly with six dealt out to both before discarding two face-down cards into their crib score-making box. Most of the skill in cribbage lies within this selection process of cards placed therein.

Cribbage is played until one player scores 121 points to claim victory. A standard cribbage board usually features two pegs for keeping score, each color representing two pegs to keep score by jumping the rear peg ahead by an appropriate number of points scored during play.

Cribbage players score points by matching cards that add up to 15, creating runs or pairings, or making runs that total 15. Jacks that fit their starting card count as pairs and are worth two points; it is essential to remember that aces always count low; the goal should be reaching over 31 points in one hand.

Cribbage scoring starts with the player sitting to the dealer’s left and continues clockwise around the table. Players with the best hand and starter card combination receive two points; second-best hands receive a single point. Players then alternate scoring their hands and starter cards until one reaches 121 points and is declared victorious.