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  • Writer's pictureJon Mullett

Is cribbage skill or luck?

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Both. Both skill and luck play a role in determining the winner of a game of cribbage.Ultimately, a skilled player will have a better chance of winning, but luck can still play a role in the outcome.


Like all card games, the luck of the draw (cards dealt) are a factor on winning or losing. On the surface, the game rules are relatively simple, but it's the seemingly endless particularities that can give a player the advantage.


Like poker, the advantage typically goes to the player who's most familiar with odds, percentages, and statistical probabilities. Also like poker, going against the safe play to get a big hand can pay dividends.


The skill aspect comes in the form of strategy and the ability to make calculated decisions during the game, such as knowing when to hold or discard certain cards.



cribbage pegging


Here are some techniques that could give you the strategic advantage, and increase your chances of winning.

  1. Try to hold onto cards that have a high point value, such as face cards and fives.

  2. Be mindful of your opponent's plays: Keep an eye on your opponent's plays and try to anticipate their next move. This can help you play defensively and prevent them from scoring points.

  3. The deck is 30% face cards, which count as 10 in cribbage. If you have a 5, remember that.

  4. It may seem obvious, but don't be afraid to add cards that make points to your crib

  5. The cards 6, 7, 8, 9 are the most damaging cards to through in your opponents crib due to their potential to make runs and generate 15s. Conversely, through them in your crib.

  6. When pegging, don't lead with a 5 or a 10.

  7. Bait your opponent into a 15 while pegging if you have a card to match a run of 3

There are hundreds of other intricacies in cribbage, which is why it's so fun to play. It's a game where you never stop learning how to play better.


Cribbage King stocks unique handmade cribbage boards with oversized pegs. A new and fun way to play cribbage with friends and family.



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