How to Play Cribbage Card Game – Rules and Gameplay

How to Play Cribbage Card Game – Rules and Gameplay

Sir John Suckling, a poet, and gambler, invented the card game Cribbage in the 1600s. For the most part, modern-day Cribbage has retained the same rules and gameplay as was developed by Sir John. In a broad sense, Cribbage aims at creating matching pairs or sets of cards that can be played by two or more people simultaneously. 

In this article, the two-person game is being dwelt with as it is the more straightforward option to explain. The multi-user game is like a two-person game and can easily be understood if the two-people game is taken for granted. 

The Crib 

At the start of the game, the dealer is chosen through a draw of cards. Each person is dealt six cards. 

From the six cards dealt to each person, two cards are kept aside from each player, totaling up to the Crib. The cards that form the Crib are chosen in such a manner as to give the rest of the hand the most advantageous situation. 

The Crib belongs to the dealer and is only used at the end of the game to pair up the cards that have been dealt to the dealer. 

Scoring Points 

Each player aims to score the maximum points and to move the peg in the inward direction. The winner is the player who gets to the end of the count at the very earliest. There are three ways the players can score points.

  • Pegging Play 

In the pegging play, players score points when their cards add up to 15 or 31. The card’s value is the number written on it; the aces have one point, while the picture cards carry ten points.

There are points for running cards of the same suit and run sequences. Players can also score points for creating a Go and having the Last card as well.

  • Counting Hand 

The remaining cards left out at the end of the play are sized up with the counting hand. Points are awarded for pairs, runs, sequences, and suits of the same color. The non-dealer gets to present his cards to the other player first. The cards are arranged among themselves to form patterns of pairs, runs, and sequences, each scoring a fixed number of points. The peg is then moved on the board to reflect on the number of points won in hand.

  • Counting Crib 

The Crib is counted last and is on the side of the dealer. Like the counting hand, points are awarded to the player for showing combinations of pairs, sequences, and runs. The peg is then moved to reflect the position of each of the players. 

The Aim of The Game 

Cribbage aims to score the most points by having as many combinations with each dealt hand—the person who gets to the last hole with his peg wins. Players usually play games of three, five, and seven before a winner is picked up for the match. 

History Of the Card Games 

The first card games in Europe came into existence in the 1300s and were imports from the east through trade ties. The Chinese have used cards in their society since the 10th century. The idea of the card game has taken on new meaning with the introduction of the computer and the smartphone. 

It is possible to play online card games on mobile and PCs. Most people need a companion or companions to play card games. But it is possible to come across card games that you can play alone from the comforts of your home or workplace.  

That card games are habit forming must be warned to those playing them. Online card games involve a mix of gambling, with wagers set on who gets to win. It is thus to be taken in the right spirit and not allow the person to get too involved with the game. 


Card games are a great way to spend some spare time. It is entertaining as well as competitive. Most importantly, modern-day gaming is influenced strongly by online sites that offer multiplayer experiences and play against a bot. The card player is thus given several options to choose from, including the one-person play of Cribbage.