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Cribbage club Fort Collins

Cribbage Rules

Order of Play

  1. Each player cuts the deck. The player with the lowest card deals first and play alternates back and forth until the game is finished.   

  2. Shuffle: The dealer shuffles cards.

  3. Deal: Each player is dealt 6 cards face down. 

  4. Discard: Each player looks at their cards and chooses two to discard face down into the crib. The crib is an extra hand for the dealer.

  5. Cut: The pone cuts the deck for the dealer who flips the cut card. This card is used by both players when counting points in their hands. The cut card is also referred to as the community card. 

  6. Pegging Round: The pone starts play by laying a card down in front of them (face up).  The dealer then lays down a card. Players alternate playing cards until both players are out of cards. Note: When playing cards each player announces the total of the cards. If the first card played is a 4 that player says "four". If the next card played is a 6, that player says "six for ten". If points are scored, that player says the card total and the number of points they scored. For example, the first player plays a 10 and the next player plays a 5, that player says "Fifteen for two" (points).

  7. Pegging points: Points are awarded for pairs (2 points), trips (6 points), runs of three or more (1 point per card), and for any combination of cards totalling 15 or 31 (2 points). 1 point is awarded for each "Go". A go happens when a card is played the the opponent cannot play a card that is 31 or under. That player says "Go" and the other player either plays a card (if 31 or less) or takes one point for the "Go"  The pegging total then resets back to zero and play continues.

  8. Player hands: After pegging, each player counts the total points in their hand (including the community card) and pegs that amount. The pone always counts first.

  9. Points in the hand: Points are awarded for all combinations of pairs (pair = 2 points, trips = 6 points, etc.), 4 of a kind (12 points), runs of three or more (1 point per card), flushes (4 cards in the hand of the same suite ), and all combinations of 15.

  10. Points in the Crib: After both players have counted points in their hand, the dealer counts points in the crib and pegs that amount. 

  11. New deal: Play continues with the next player dealing. This process repeats until there is a winner.  The first player to peg a total of 121 points wins. 

Cribbage Rules: Playing Details

To play cribbage you need a cribbage board, cribbage pegs (two for each player) and a deck of cards. Prior to each cribbage match both players cut the deck. The player with the lowest card deals first. Note: Aces are always the lowest card (1). 


Cribbage has two two parts to each round (each deal).

  1. Pegging Round

  2. Player Hands

Note: Cribbage can be played casually whereas your opponent may point out any point's you've missed so you can add them, or you can play muggins in which players may steal points missed.

Cut Card


Prior to each match players cut the deck to pick who deals first. The player with the lowest card deals first. In the example below, the player who cut the "4" deals first. Aces are the lowest card and count as 1. For information about the statistical advantage of dealing first click on this blog.

Who deals first in cribbage?

Each player is dealt six cards. The dealer alternates between players until there is a winner.  The order of events for each dealer round is - deal, discard cards into the crib, pegging round, count points and peg player hands, dealer counts and pegs crib hand points - next player deals.  

Dealing cards cribbage

The dealer gets an extra hand called the "crib". After the deal, both layers choose two cards to place in the crib (face down). Before pegging, both players have 4 cards in their hand and there are 4 cards in the crib. The cards in the crib are not revealed until the end of each round.

Cut Card in cribbage

Before each round, the player opposite the dealer cuts the deck and the dealer flips over the top card. This is a community card that both players use as part of their hand. It's also used in counting points in the crib. 

Note: If the dealer flips a Jack its called nobs and they peg two points.


Pegging begins with the player opposite the dealer laying down a card (face up). The dealer then plays a card and announces the total of both cards. Players alternate cards laying cards until all the cards in both players hands have been played. 

Cribbage Club Fort Collins

Players pegging by alternating playing cards. Points are scored for getting 15, 31, pairs, runs, etc.


After each pegging round both players count the points in their hand, starting with the player opposite the dealer. Players use the four cards in their hand and the cut card to determine their points. Points are scored for pairs, trips, 4 of a kind, runs of three or more, flushes, and all card combinations that equal 15. See cribbage scoring for more information on counting points. 


After each player has counted their hand the dealer counts their crib hand.


Rounds continue until a player gets more than 120 points. The first player to cross 120 points wins regardless of the deal order or if player two hasn't counted points for that round.


In cribbage, you win, you lose, or you get skunked. Getting skunked in cribbage means you got your butt whooped. It qualifies as a cribbage skunk when one player wins by 31 points or more. The skunk brings bragging rights to the winner and shame to the loser. If players are betting, a skunk would double the bet amount. The "skunk line" is either marked or it's the top of the last downward pegging column.

Double Skunk Line in Cribbage

Aces always equal 1 in cribbage, both pegging and in the hand. Below is an example of using an Ace in a run of three cards.


Right:    Ace, 2, 3

Wrong: Q, K, Ace

10, J, Q and K are all worth 10 in the pegging round. They also count as 10 when counting 15s (example: a K + 5 = 15)

Cribbage Ace is the Low Card
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