After the cards have been dealt and players have discarded to create a crib the cut is taken. This part of the game is the play and there are very specific rules for how to peg in cribbage. Pegging is the process during this play.
Players must score their own points using the pegs. There are two pegs for each player. Most boards have a start line with a place for 2 pegs. Some boards have 3 rows and others have two. Some boards go to 60 (to be played twice) while others go to 120 with a finish equaling 121, the target or winning score.
Players must move their own peg by moving the peg that is behind the initial peg by the amount that they have achieved. Points must be taken as they are played. If the opposing player has played it is the opponents job to score his points before he plays the next hand or he will forfeit his points.
The object of the play is to score points with:
- a pair – 2 points
- sequence (run of 3 or more points in any order) – point per card
- fifteen - 2 points
- last card – 1 point
- 31 points – 2 points
- Go (card played if the other player can’t play to reach 31) – 1 point
- Play starts immediately after the deck has been cut. If the cut is a jack the dealer receives 2 points (referenced as his heels).
- the pone (opponent) then leads the first card and announces the value
- the dealer responds with a card trying to make points
- the play alternates until a player is unable to play a card without going over 31
- if a player can’t play he announces GO
- the opposing player takes a point for every card played as a go until they can’t play without going over 31
- The play starts again at 0 until all cards are played
- players should place their cards one on top of the other face up on the table on their side of the cribbage board
- once the player is not touching the card on the table it is considered played
- if two cards are accidentally played the card announced is to be used
- players must move their own peg (score their own points)
- players should not touch the opponents peg
- in non-friendly play if a player reneges (does not play when they could have) they lose 2 points for each card that could have been laid down.
- sequences (runs) do not count if the count is over. Each time 31 is reached the score is “reset”
- if a player announces an incorrect amount the opposing player may correct it before they play a card
- players must always announce the total
- if a player pegs out for the game but is incorrect they receive a penalty of moving back to where their peg was and lose 15 points on top
- if a player pegs incorrectly, they move back to the right spot and the opponent takes the difference they pegged as a penalty
- if a player moves the other players peg 2 points are awarded to the opponent
- if the player places his peg in the other players track it should be returned to the right track with no penalty
- if a player knocks a front peg out of play – to keep it simple it should be agreed by both parties where the peg goes.