The count like pegging can be a very strategic part of the game. There are specific protocols and rules for how to count your hand in cribbage.
- the pone (opponent) is the first player to count after all cards have been played during the play or pegging.
- order of count = pone, dealer, dealer’s crib
- players count with the 4 cards in their hand plus the cut card
- players must announce the total at the end and leave the cards face up for opponents to examine
- in competitive play if muggins is in effect, the opposing player may take any points that have been missed
- dealer then puts the cards face up on the opponent side of the board and announces score
- opponent accepts score verbally or by mixing the cards in the deck
- dealer counts the crib in the same method
- starter card should remain separate from all cards during the count as it is used by both players hand and the crib
- a player is responsible for counting their own cards – there is to be no assistance
The cards should be counted in a formal manner. Highly advanced players may just announce the total. To keep track of each area of scoring players typically announce 15 for X amount of points, x pairs for X amount of points, a run for X points, jack of suit (nob) for 1 point, flush for X points.
Sample Hand: 9S 10D JD 6C cut = 6D
15 for 4 points = 9S + 6C and 9S + 6D , pair for 2 points = 6C + 6D, run for 3 points = 9S + 10D + JD and a jack of suit for 1 point JD is same suite as cut 6D = 10 points
It gets easier after you have counted a few hands. It is suggested to play a few games with someone that has played before instead of having two beginners try and learn it alone.