If you're looking for a fast-paced card game for two players, then Cribbage is the game for you. A Cribbage game requires quick thinking, foresight, and basic arithmetic.

What is Cribbage?

A regular Cribbage game is a two-handed or player game, though it is expandable for play with three players or two teams of two. The objective of cribbage is to score 121 points first. Players do this in multiple rounds closed out by scoring hands.

A Cribbage Game Board

Unlike many card games, a board is used to keep score because it is faster to score with one. In a bind, it is possible to play without a board.

The board has three different color “tracks” that go from 0 to 120, with the finish being the 121st hole. There are 3 pegs of each color used for scoring.

The Deck

A standard 52 card deck is used to play. Cards both have cardinality (the sequence in which players can lay them down) and value (the contribution a card makes toward the total value in play during a round). When looking at laying cards down in sequences the following order applies: King, Queen, Jack, 10 through 2, Ace (low). When adding card values within the game, use the values on the cards, except “face cards” (King, Queen, and Jack) are worth 10 points.

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WE Games Cabinet Cribbage Set - Solid Wood Continuous 3 Track Board with Easy Grip Pegs, Cards and Storage Area
  • CRIBBAGE BOARD FOR SCORING: Cribbage is a card game distinctly known for the cribbage board, or crib used for scorekeeping. It contains a series of holes known as streets, lanes, or tracks on which the score is tallied with pegs, or spilikens. Points are registered by pegging the score along the cribbage board.
  • SPECIAL BOARD FEATURES: This full-sized cribbage board for up to three players features 120 holes in a continuous race track style. Numerical notations and a 90 point skunk line make scoring the game a breeze. Additional game-counter holes included for use with a third peg to count the games won my each side. Open the board to reveal a deck of cards and nine metal cribbage pegs (chrome, brass, and black) included with this set and stored within it.
  • HIGH QUALITY CRAFTSMANSHIP: This beautiful cabinet-style board is crafted from two pieces of solid Malaysian Oak which is an eco-friendly, sustainable, and beautiful hard wood. The board is full-sized and measures 12 x 3.5 x 1.5 inches. Piano-style hinges work smoothly while out of site and will endure years of play. The board stays closed with a magnetic closure. The metal pegs have a tapered design which gives them a snug fit in the holes. They measure 1 inch in length.
  • WE GAMES - SINCE 1977: WE Games has been making the world's best traditional games since 1977. Our games are crafted with high quality sustainable materials with attention to fine details. Because they are timeless and beautiful, they are often kept out on a coffee table for all to enjoy. We love bringing people together with our classic board games, and we know the joy of the game will be passed down to the next generation along with the board game itself.
  • BECAUSE PLAYING GAMES IS GOOD FOR YOU. Did you know that playing board games can teach important social skills like verbal communication, being patient, sharing, taking turns and enjoying interactions with others? Games like Shut the Box foster the ability to focus and lengthens the players attention span. Playing games is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together. They are also rich in learning opportunities.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Cardinal Industries Solid Wood Folding Cribbage Set (Styles Will Vary)
  • Enjoy a classic game of Cribbage with this sturdy, solid wood set!
  • Great for existing and new fans of cribbage
  • Folding board makes this an easy, portable way to have fun on the go
  • For ages 6 and up
  • 1 wood folding cribbage board, deck of 54 playing cards, multi-colored pegs, illustrated instructions

How to Play

cribbage card game

Choosing The Dealer

In a Cribbage game, one player is the dealer, which is an important designation as it holds an advantage within the round. The dealer is picked before the first hand and changes every time a new round is started. Who deals hands for the first game is determined after each player cuts the same deck and draws a card. Whoever draws the lowest card is the dealer for the first game.

The Crib

The "crib" consists of four cards and is put together during the game set-up. These cards are selected by the players out of their hand and placed in a pile belonging to the dealer. This pile is left untouched until the end of the hand. At the end of the hand, the dealer will count these cards as an individual hand and include the extra points in their own score.

Game Setup for:

...2 People

  1. The dealer deals 6 cards face down to the other player, then themselves.
  2. The crib is laid away: Both players look at their own cards. Each player “lays away” 2 cards face down and keeps 4 cards.

... for 3 People

  1. The dealer deals 5 cards face down to each player, then themselves. They also deal a card off to the side, which will be used in the crib.
  2. The crib is laid away: All players look at their own cards. Each player “lays away” one card face down with the extra card that was dealt face down and keeps 4 cards.

...for 4 People

  1. The dealer deals 5 cards face down to each player, then themselves. The two pairs of players sit opposite each other.
  2. The crib is laid away: All players look at their own cards. Each player “lays away” one card face down and keeps 4 cards.

Before the Play

  1. After the player that did not deal (or the player left of the dealer) cuts the remaining deck, the dealer draws the card from the top of the cut and places it face-up on the deck. This card is known as “the cut card.” The deck with the cut card on top is set aside for later in the game.
  • 2 points: if the cut card is a Jack, “His Heels” is announced and the dealer scores.

The Play

During the play, cards played face-up are placed in front of the player playing them. They will return to the player's hand when the hands need to be counted to finish the round.

Each time a player puts a card down it is an opportunity to earn points. See the score chart provided after (10.).


  1. The player that cut the deck now places a card from their hand face-up in front of them and announces the face value of the card.
  2. The next person (the dealer or player to the left of the last to go) lays down a card from their hand in front of them, announcing the total value of the cards currently laid out.
  3. The players continue putting down cards, announcing the total value each time they play a card. The total value of the cards cannot exceed 31.
  4. This continues until a player cannot add any more cards without going over 31. This player announces “Go.”
  • 1 point: the player after the one that said “Go” scores

  1. The next player must put down any cards they can without making the total played by all go over 31.
  • 1 point: the player after the one that said “Go” scores an additional point if they are able to play until the total is exactly 31.

  1. The player that said “Go” starts The Play over again (4.) with the total starting at face value of the first card they play.
  2. The player that plays the last card earns:
  • 1 point: for the “Go”
  • if the total is exactly 31 after playing the last card

Points During Play

  • 2 points: the two cards add up to 15
  • 2 points: Pair: adding the same card in a different suit as the last one played
  • 6 points: Triplet: adding the same card in a different suit as the last two played
  • 12 points: Four/Double Pair/Double Pair Royal: adding the same card in a different suit as the last three played
  • Run (Sequence): earns as many points as cards in the sequence: cards need to be laid down such that they form an uninterrupted sequence, though the sequence does not have to be in order. For example, 5,8,6,7 is a sequence of four, which earns 4 points. 5, 8, K, 6, 7 earns no points because the sequence is interrupted by the King.
  • Note a player can earn points for more than one thing by laying down a card. For example, if a player puts down a 6, making the round so far 3, 6, 6, that player earns 2 points for totaling 15 and 2 points for the pair, making a total of 4 points for playing that card.

Counting The Hands (After The Play Ends)

When counting hands, the cut card is included in everyone’s hand.

Hands are counted in this order: non-dealer’s hand (or the player to the left of the dealer, then the other non-dealer players), dealer’s hand, and the crib (last). This order is important because non-dealer players may reach the finish to win before the dealer can count their cards. Remember, the dealer has their own advantage because the crib cards, though counted as a separate hand, go toward the dealer’s total.

Counting The Hands
  • 1 point: His Nobs: Jack of the same suit as the cut card
  • 2 points: the two cards add up to 15
  • 2 points: Pair: adding the same card in a different suit as the last one played
  • 6 points: Triplet: adding the same card in a different suit as the last two played
  • 12 points: Four/Double Pair/Double Pair Royal: adding the same card in a different suit as the last three played
  • Run (Sequence): earn as many points as cards in the sequence: cards need to be laid down such that they form an uninterrupted sequence, though the sequence does not have to be in order. For example, 5,8,6,7 is a sequence of four, which earns 4 points. 5, 8, K, 6, 7 earns no points because the sequence is interrupted by the King.
  • 4 point: Flush: four cards of the same suit in hand (excluding the cut card; crib cannot earn points this way)
  • 5 points: Flush: four cards in hand or in the crib of the same suit as the cut card

Cards can be used more than once when counting combinations. For example, consider a hand that has 5 of diamonds, 5 of clubs, 6 of diamonds, 4 of hearts with a cut card that is a 9 of clubs.
There are several combinations of adding up to 15, each worth 2 points, for a total of 6 points: 6 + 9,
5 of diamonds + 6 + 4, 5 of clubs + 6 + 4

After scoring hands, the game is set up for the next round and continues until someone reaches 121 points.

Cribbage Game – Conclusion

A Cribbage game is fast and fun, best played with two people. The play within a round, as well as the point system, can take a little bit of getting used to at first. Once players are familiar with scoring, the rounds will proceed smoothly, and individuals will be able to build their own strategies. For those who might get bored with a game like poker, but want something that can be challenging with the right opponent, try a cribbage game.

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