There are many variations on how to play cribbage with slight adjustments if played with 3 or 4 players. We will concentrate on the most common 2 player cribbage rules for friendly play.
Object - to be the first player to score 121 points
Tools – deck of 52 cards (jokers removed), board with pegs (or pen & paper)
All suits are considered equal value. The A-9 count as 1 to 9 and cards above 10 count as 10. Ace is low only. There are three main segments of play – dealing, playing (pegging), counting or showing (hand & crib). These are played in sequence until the first player reaches 121.
- two of a kind (pairs), three of a kind, four of a kind
- flush (count only, not scored in the play)
- total card value reaching fifteen
- jack of suit
steps of cribbage
- players cut deck, lowest card wins deal
- dealer shuffles cards
- opponent (or pone) cuts the deck
- dealer gives 6 cards to each player
- place deck face down
- players discard 2 cards face down into crib (for dealer)
- pone cuts deck, dealer places the card on top – this is called the cut (if a jack is turned up the dealer receives 2 points)
Players are looking to score points by matching cards, totaling 15, creating sequences, reaching 31 or playing the last card before reaching 31
- pone plays first card, face up and declares the value
- dealer plays card and declares value of total
- sequence continues until a player can’t go to total under 31
- sequence starts again with the opposite player to the player that played last laying down a card first
- when all cards have been played the count begins
Points are scored by using the cut and the 4 cards in your hand. Players are looking for matching cards, fifteens, runs, flushes & jack of what’s turned up (in the cut). Flushes and jacks have some unique rules for awarding points.
- pone always counts cards first
- dealer counts hand
- dealer counts crib
Deal rotates between player and the above sequence is played until the first player reaches 121 (or more) points.