The player who has maintained this average is said to be "home," and a player who is in this condition at an advanced state of the game, should run as few risks as possible; should avoid pairing, play wide cards to avoid sequences, and so on. This is known as "playing off. In such case, he should embrace every opportunity of making a fifteen, a pair, or a sequence, even at the risk of giving opportunities to the enemy.
This is known as "playing on. Suppose that the leader starts with queen, and that the other player has no tenth card, but has a seven and a four, an eight and a three, or a nine and a two.
Six Card Cribbage
In such case it is good policy to play the seven, eight, or nine. If the first player again plays a tenth card, the second will be enabled, with his small card, to score thirty-one. If the second player have no tenth card in his own hand, the probability of his opponent holding more than one is proportionately increased. It may be useful to illustrate these elementary principles by the play of a couple of imaginary hands.
Let us suppose that A elder hand has the queen and six of hearts, nine of clubs, eight of diamonds and seven of spades. And B dealer the ace and ten of hearts, ten of clubs, five of spades, and four of diamonds. It will be observed that A has four cards, six, seven, eight, nine, in sequence, of which either the six and nine or the seven and eight will form a fifteen. His fifth card, the queen, does not and cannot score with either of the others.
Obviously the queen should form one card of his lay-out. Of the four remaining, he will naturally keep three in sequence. Which shall he throw out, the six or the nine? The six in one respect is preferable, inasmuch as it cannot be brought into sequence with the queen, whereas the nine might possibly be so. On the other hand, the six is of the same suit as the queen, and might help towards a flush. He decides, therefore, to throw out queen, nine, retaining the six, seven, and eight.
B's proper course is clearly to throw out the ace of hearts and four of diamonds, retaining the two tens and the five, which are good for six points, viz. On the other hand, should there be one or more tenth cards in the crib, the four and ace will give them a scoring value. A leads the seven of spades, saying, "seven. If B should play an eight, making fifteen, A will be enabled to continue with the six, and so score a run of three.
He plays the ten of hearts, saying, "Seventeen," or more shortly, "'-teen. He plays the eight of diamonds, saying, "Twenty-five. B scores one for last card, and the play of the hand is at an end. The cards are turned up, and A counts his hand. The start has left him "no better. B is rather better off. With the start he has fifteen six and a pair—eight in all.
In crib the start has helped him considerably. Without it he had fifteen two only—the ace and four combining with the queen of hearts; with the start he has six—fifteen four and a pair. The nine is useless. A having taken his three points as non-dealer, the score stands eight to fifteen. It is now A's turn to deal, and the cards fall as follows: B has king and eight of hearts, seven of spades, eight of diamonds and three of clubs. And A dealer five and nine of diamonds, three of spades, ten of hearts and six of clubs.
B throws out the king of hearts and three of clubs; A, the six of clubs and nine of diamonds. The cards are cut, and the six of diamonds is turned up. B leads the eight of hearts. This is a safe lead, for, if A scores fifteen, B can pair him; if A pairs, B can make a pair-royal. A, not being able to do either, plays the ten of hearts, making eighteen.
This prevents all possibility of B's making fifteen; and should B play a tenth card, A's three will make thirty-one. There is a possibility of B's playing a nine, and so making three for the run, but this risk must be taken.
Should he do so, A will in all probability score one for last card; but B, having only a seven and an eight, plays the latter, making twenty-six. This is a shade the better card, inasmuch as it brings the score one point nearer thirty-one. As it happens, the choice was unfortunate, for A, having a five, is able to make thirty-one exactly, scoring two points accordingly.
The cards are shown: B scores fifteen four, a pair, and a run of three twice over—twelve in all. A has in hand fifteen two only; but in crib he has fifteen six and a pair, making eight in all. The game now stands—A 20, B Both have made their full average in the two deals; but B's seven points ahead give him a decided advantage, and, on the principle already explained he will do well to "play off" during the remainder of the hand.
In this form of the game six cards are dealt to each player. Two being laid out for crib, four are still left in hand, and the scores accordingly average very much higher than in the five-card game. The only material difference of procedure is that in the six-card game the scoring of three extra points by the non-dealer is omitted, both players being considered to start on an equal footing; and secondly, that the cards, instead of being thrown down as soon as thirty-one or the nearest possible approach to it, is reached, are played out to the end.
The player who failed to score for the "go" leads again, giving the adversary the opportunity to make fifteen, or pair him if he can. Each plays alternately as before, the player of the "last card" scoring "one" for so doing. If there is only one card left after the "go," the leader still scores it as "last card. The two objects—preserving the hand and baulking the opponent's crib—are in this case on the same level, and either may legitimately be preferred, as the nature of the hand may render desirable.
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In consequence of the greater facility of scoring, it is customary to play six-card cribbage twice round the board, i. Seven-card cribbage is played in the same manner as the six-card game, save that seven cards are dealt to each player, two being thrown out for crib, and five left in hand, or, with the start, six. With such a largely increased number of possible combinations, very high scores are frequent, and for this reason it is customary to make the game three times round the board, i. When three persons play, five cards are dealt to each, one card of each hand being laid out for crib, with one card from the top of the pack to complete it.
The start is then cut for in the usual manner. The player to the dealer's left has first lead and first show, and deals in the succeeding hand. The score is usually marked on a triangular board, open in the centre, or the ordinary cribbage-board may be furnished see illustration with a supplementary arm, turning on a pivot, and duly provided with holes, to keep the score of a third player. Where four persons engage in the game, two play as partners against the other two, each pair sitting facing each other. Emphasis on the board as a scoring device created the idea that the game could not be played without it, but the score can be kept with pencil and paper or with chips or other counters.
Cribbage boards are also available with holes for playing up to The standard card deck is used, the cards ranking from king high to ace low. Face cards count 10 each; other cards count their index value number of pips. The player cutting low card deals first, the deal alternating with each hand. Six cards are dealt alternately to the nondealer and to the dealer. Each player then discards two cards facedown to form the crib. After the discard, the undealt remainder of the pack is cut by the nondealer; the top card of the lower packet is turned faceup on top of the reunited deck and becomes the starter.
This is followed by the two stages of scoring, the play and the showing. The nondealer begins the play by laying faceup before him any card from his hand, announcing its counting value. Dealer then plays a card each adds cards to his own pile so that his original hand may be counted later in the showing and announces the total of the two cards.
Match play: alternate deals, or loser deals? | Cribbage | BoardGameGeek
Play continues alternately, each player announcing the new total, until the total reaches 31 or until one player cannot play without increasing the total beyond If either player cannot add a card without exceeding 31, his opponent must play any card s in his hand that may be added without exceeding After a go, count begins again at zero. In addition to go, the object is to peg for certain combinations of cards played consecutively.
These combinations score whether the cards are played in strict alternation or in succession by one player when the opponent cannot play. The score in every case is pegged by the player whose card completes the combination. Any player who can add to a combination, provided there has been no intervening card, can score the value of the new combination. Combinations are scored for playing a card that makes the count exactly 15 score 2 points ; for playing cards of the same rank to make a pair 2 points , three of a kind 6 points , or four of a kind 12 points ; and for playing a third or later card to form a run, or sequence, regardless of suits and regardless of the order in which the cards are played 1 point for each card in the run.
The next stage of scoring is the showing. The starter counts as a fifth card in each of the three hands. Every combination of two or more cards totaling 15 scores two points; each pair, two points; every sequence of three or more cards, one point for each card in the sequence; four cards of the same suit, four points, or five points if the same suit as the starter but only a five-card flush matching the starter counts in the crib ; and his nob jack of the same suit as the starter , one point. Every possible different grouping of cards in the hand, plus starter, counts separately, except that a sequence of four or five cards may be counted only once and not as two or more separate sequences of three.
When either or both players approach a score of or 61 , greater significance attaches to whose turn it is to score, in that the nondealer has the advantage of scoring for cards in hand first, making it more urgent for the dealer to score in the play up to The game ends immediately if either player is able to count out in the play or the showing. If nondealer is able to count out in the showing, it does not matter if the dealer, with or without counting his crib, could have scored a higher total.
As sometimes played, the winner must be able to count out to exactly , just as, in playing for a go, he tries to reach 31 exactly. After each player has played all four of his cards and the showing has been completed, the cards are put back in the deck and shuffled and dealt as before. In five-card cribbage, the original game, each player discards two cards into the crib, remaining with only three, plus starter. Game is Four-hand cribbage is played in partnerships of two on a side, partners seated across the table from each other.
The dealer gives each player five cards; each discards only one into the crib. The score is usually slightly less in the showing, but the average per side is about nine points in the play. Peg one point more for each extra card of a sequence. Note that runs are independent of suits, but go strictly by rank; to illustrate: 9, 10, J, or J, 9, 10 is a run but 9, 10, Q is not.
It is important to keep track of the order in which cards are played to determine whether what looks like a sequence or a run has been interrupted by a "foreign card. The dealer pegs 2 for 15, and the opponent pegs 2 for pair, but the dealer cannot peg for run because of the extra seven foreign card that has been played. Example: Cards are played in this order: 9, 6, 8, 7.
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The dealer pegs 2 for fifteen when he or she plays the six and pegs 4 for run when he plays the seven the 6, 7, 8, 9 sequence. The cards were not played in sequential order, but they form a true run with no foreign card. When play ends, the three hands are counted in order: non-dealer's hand first , dealer's hand second , and then the crib third. This order is important because, toward the end of a game, the non-dealer may "count out" and win before the dealer has a chance to count, even though the dealer's total would have exceeded that of the opponent.
The starter is considered to be a part of each hand, so that all hands in counting comprise five cards. The basic scoring formations are as follows:. Each combination of three or more 1 cards in sequence for each card in the sequence. Four cards of the same suit in hand 4 excluding the crib, and the starter.
Cribbage rules - the basics
In the above table, the word combination is used in the strict technical sense. Each and every combination of two cards that make a pair, of two or more cards that make 15, or of three or more cards that make a run, count separately. Example: A hand including the starter comprised of 8, 7, 7, 6, 2 scores 8 points for four combinations that total the 8 with one 7, and the 8 with the other 7; the 6, 2 with each of the two 7s.
The same hand also scores 2 for a pair, and 6 for two runs of three 8, 7, 6 using each of the two 7s. The total score is An experienced player computes the hand thus: "Fifteen 2, fifteen 4, fifteen 6, fifteen 8, and 8 for double run is Note that the ace is always low and cannot form a sequence with a king. Further, a flush cannot happen during the play of the cards; it occurs only when the hands and the crib are counted. The highest possible score for combinations in a single Cribbage deal is 29, and it may occur only once in a Cribbage fan's lifetime -in fact, experts say that a 29 is probably as rare as a hole-in-one in golf.
To make this amazing score, a player must have a five as the starter upcard and the other three fives plus the jack of the same suit as the starter - His Nobs: 1 point - in their hand. The double pair royal four 5s peg another 12 points; the various fives used to hit 15 can be done four ways for 8 points; and the jack plus a 5 to hit 15 can also be done four ways for 8 points.
The following list includes many of the hands that may give the beginner some difficulty in counting. Note that no hand can make a count of 19, 25, 26, or In the chart below J stands for His Nobs, the jack of the same suit as the starter. Each player must count his hand and crib aloud and announce the total.
If he overlooks any score, the opponent may say "Muggins" and then score the overlooked points for himself. For experienced players, the Muggins rule is always in effect and adds even more suspense to the game. Game may be fixed at either points or 61 points.
The play ends the moment either player reaches the agreed total, whether by pegging or counting one's hand. If the non-dealer "goes out" by the count of his hand, the game immediately ends and the dealer may not score either his hand or the crib. If a player wins the game before the loser has passed the halfway mark did not reach 31 in a game of 61, or 61 in a game of , the loser is "lurched," and the winner scores two games instead of one.
A popular variation of games played to , is a "skunk" double game for the winner if the losing player fails to pass the three-quarter mark - 91 points or more - and it is a "double skunk" quadruple game if the loser fails to pass the halfway mark 61 or more points. The Cribbage board see illustration has four rows of 30 holes each, divided into two pairs of rows by a central panel. There are usually four or two additional holes near one end, called "game holes. Note: There are also continuous track Cribbage boards available which, as the name implies, have one continuous line of holes for each player.
The board is placed to one side between the two players, and each player takes two pegs of the same color. The pegs are placed in the game holes until the game begins. Each time a player scores, they advance a peg along a row on their side of the board, counting one hole per point. Two pegs are used, and the rearmost peg jumps over the first peg to show the first increment in score.
After another increase in score, the peg behind jumps over the peg in front to the appropriate hole to show the player's new score, and so on see diagram next page. The custom is to "go down" away from the game holes on the outer rows and "come up" on the inner rows.