Casino Games

How to Play Cribbage, Equipment Required, and Advantages

With a combination of strategy and luck, how to play cribbage is great for you to learn. This game has endured the test of time and won millions since its inception in the early 17th century.

A standard deck of cards and a wooden cribbage board are the only two necessary items to play, and the game is still played according to most of its original rules. 

It might be the ease of play that has kept this game popular for such a long time. Cribbage can be played quickly and with the probability of a wood cribbage board. It can be easily set up for a match at a moment’s notice. 

It might have unique terminology and unusual rules, but this is unquestionably a game that is here to stay.

The Equipments to Play Cribbage

Equipments to Play Cribbage

Before explaining how to play cribbage, it is important to know what the equipments are needed to play this game. Here are some supplies you need to prepare:

  • Cards – You need a standard deck of 52 playing cards, excluding the jokers.
  • Board – Cribbage needs a special board to play. A cribbage board has 120 holes and a winner’s hole for you and your opponent to keep the score with. The traditional design is a flat wooden board with a curved path for pegs. There are also more modern designs available, such as those made out of unique shapes like states or trains. 
  • Pegs – The pegs come with the board and every player is given 2 to keep track of scores.

How to Play Cribbage for Beginners (A Guide)

Well, the main objective of the game is to score 121 points that are pegged on the board by points in your hands. Every hand will determine how many points you will have. Here are some steps you need to know on how to play cribbage.

1. Decide Who Deals

First of all, you have to cut the deck to decide who deals. The player with the low card will be the dealer. Most of this game operates with Kings high and Aces low.

It means that drawing an Ace will put you at the bottom end of the deck’s worth. Once you have chosen who is the dealer, you need to reshuffle the deck and deal out 6 cards to each player.

2. Make the Crib

Once every player gets their 6 cards on how to play cribbage, they are allowed to look at them. Of your 6 cards, you will need to discard 2 of them to the side, and you and your opponent’s set aside cards combine to make “the crib”.

3. Choose the Starter

The next step on how to play cribbage, after both players have set aside the crib, the dealer will cut the deck and take the top card from the lower half of the deck, laying it face up.

The “starter” is not used in the active play portion of cribbage, however, is rather used for scoring purposes by making special combinations later on. 

When the starter turns out to be a jack, then it will be referred to as “His Heels” and gets the dealer and automatic 2 points.

4. Start Playing Your Hands

Once the starter has been chosen, play starts with the non-dealer laying one of their 4 cards face-up and announcing its value or “pip”. The face cards on how to play cribbage are worth their face value while Aces continue to be low at just one point and Kings, Queens, and Jacks count 10 points each. 

After that, the dealer will lay one of their cards down, announcing the cumulative total of the two cards now on the table. However, the total of all the cards in play will never reach above 32.

So, if a player can’t lay another card without going above 31, they will announce “go”. Getting “go” rewards the other player by letting them peg one space. 

While there are other ways that you can score points on the board, with every notch equating 1 point. This process on how to play cribbage will continue until one player gets 121 points and wins the game.

The Advantages of Cribbage Game

We can all conclude that there is something to be said for a card game that has stood the test of time.

There are numerous modern card games like Texas Holdem poker to play and certainly a specific board game to choose from, however cribbage holds its own than others. Well, there are a few advantages why this should be your favorite.

Minimal Equipment Required to Play

As we already mentioned, how to play cribbage requires only a standard deck of cards, a wood cribbage board, and pegs. Well, make sure you choose a good quality of board that will last for years of gameplay. 

It is a Great Game for 2

Two people are all that will be required for a rousing cribbage game. While more than two people can participate, this will make a quiet evening for just yourself and that certain someone to snuggle up with a deck of cards and a cribbage board. 

You Can Count, and It Will Not Take too Long to Learn

Getting a score on how to play cribbage is not very hard. Even beginners take to this game easily and can practice their math skills while playing an iconic game.

Learning the numbers is one thing, however, identifying the point combinations and calculating the value on the wood cribbage board is a challenge that they will be interested in and find rewarding.

Basic Cribbage Terminology:

  • Crib
  • Skunk
  • Nob
  • Heel
  • Muggins

If you are fascinated by the unique cribbage terminology which is used in the game, just wait until you find out what those words actually mean! Yes, each one of these terms has to do with scoring points, then you will want to familiarize yourself with them quickly.

Final Words

Now, you already know how to play cribbage. With its unique format, this game has become popular with card game players, but has yet to really make its way into classic gaming circles, perhaps, due in big part to its complex game mechanics.


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