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Cribbage Rules



A full deck of 52 cards should be used, King being high, Queen-Jack-10-9, etc., to Ace, which is always low.

Cut for deal; low card dealing.

Each player may shuffle the deck, dealer shuffling last, the deck being cut by dealer’s opponent (Pone). Deal six cards each.


Deal five cards each and one card in the crib, and each player discards one card in the crib.


Deal five cards each and each player discards one card in the crib.


After cards have been dealt, each player discards two cards from their hand, placing them face down on the table, these cards form “The Crib.” The “Crib” belongs to the dealer and is not used until the hands have been played out. The dealer scores any points contained in the crib, combined with the “Starter.”


Pone then cuts the deck whereupon the dealer turns up the top card of the lower portion of the deck and places this card face up on the reunited deck. This turned up card is called the Starter, and is not used during the play of the hands. It is counted, however, with each hand and the “Crib” on the final count. If the Starter (S) is a Jack (called His Nobs) the dealer immediately scores two points providing these points are scored before the dealer plays a card. Otherwise the dealer cannot score them.


Players attempt to form various counting combinations, as pairs, triplets, fours, sequences and fifteens. Combinations can be formed by the card played, or in the hands and crib in conjunction with the starter.


Pone plays any card from their hand – placing it face up on the table in front of them, at the same time announcing the numerical (pip) value of the same. All face cards except Aces are valued as tens and all other cards according their number. Aces being ones. Then dealer then plays a card, placing immediately in front of them, and announces the value, which is the sum of his card and the one already played by the Pone, the game proceeds in the manner the value of each card being added to all cards previously played. The total sum of all cards must not exceed 31. If a player has no un-played card which will play within the sum of 31 he announces “Go”. This entitles their opponent to play and to continue to play until he reaches 31 or can play no further, so stating if it is impossible to proceed.


The player who most nearly approaches 31 scores one point. If the player makes 31 exactly they score two points. If the last card that can be played makes 15, the player scores three points. (Explanation: The player gets two for making the 15 and one for the last card for the “Go”.

When 31 has been reached or a “Go” has been declared and pegged on the score board, each player turns the cards face down that have been played then begins to play again, leaving the cards face up in order to determine runs. A card can never be played that will make the total exceed 31. The players must play alternately except when on player has called a “Go” and the others can still play on or more cards.


Fifteen – If a player plays a card making the numerical value of the cards played exactly fifteen, the player scores two points, announcing, “Fifteen-two”.

Pairs – If either plays a card which makes a pair (i.e. is of the same denomination as the last card played, as two fours or two jacks) the player scores two points.

Triplets, Threes or Pairs Royal – If, after a pair has been made, another card of the same denomination is immediately played (if no 31 or pegged go intervenes) the player of the third card scores six points for three pairs. (Thus the Queen of hearts, Queen of clubs, and Queen of spades. The Queen of hears and the Queen of clubs are one pair, the Queen of hearts and Queen of spades another, and the Queen of clubs and the Queen of spades is the third pair).

Four, Double Pairs or Double Pairs Royal – If, after a pair royal has been made, the fourth card of the same denomination is immediately played (if no 31 or pegged “Go” intervenes), the player of such fourth card scores twelve points for six pairs. (Thus, the four twos – 2 of hears and the 2 of diamonds are one pair, the 2 of hearts and the 2 of clubs a second, the 2 of hearts and 2 of spades a third, the 2 of diamonds and the 2 of clubs a fourth, the 2 of diamonds and 2 of spades a fifth, and the 2 of clubs and 2 of spades as a sixth.)

Sequence or Runs – When three or more cards, all in numerical sequence, are played, the player of the last card counts one point for each in the sequence, even though they are not played in numerical rotation. Ace being low, Queen, King, Ace would not be considered a sequence.

An Intervening Card or Duplicate “breaks” the sequence thus, 5-4-3-3. The 5-4-3 is a sequence of three cards, but the second 3 is not a sequence.

Note: Pairs, triplets, fours and sequences may be formed by the opponents playing alternately, and also by cards played from one hand (within the limit of 31) after the other player has declared a “Go”.

If a player overlooks a point, their opponent is entitled to take it if they see it.


The cribbage board is placed horizontally between the players and each should start from the same end pegging down the outside edge and up the inside to Home. Two pegs for each player should be used. Each hole counts one point and when the second count is made instead of counting with the peg first used, the second peg should be used. After this the holes should be pegged by moving the rear peg ahead of the other. A GAME consists of 61 or 121 points. If the winner reaches 61 before their opponent get 31, or 121 before the opponent get 91, this is called a “Lurch” and is considered as two games won.