What Are the Basic Rules of Cribbage?


Quick Answer

Cribbage is played with a specially designed cribbage board, cribbage pegs and a deck of standard playing cards. The game is played by two or three players, with the goal of scoring 121 points.

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What Are the Basic Rules of Cribbage?
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Full Answer

Cribbage has two roles for players: dealer and non-dealer. The game begins with the each player drawing a hand of six cards, then placing two of them face-down in the "crib," which belongs to the dealer. Once the crib has been laid away, the dealer cuts the deck of remaining cards and reveals the new top card. This card acts as the "starter," and the players use their hand of cards to "add" to the starter, attempting to get the sum of all played cards to equal 31. If a player can't play a card without bringing the total over 31, he must say "go," which passes his turn and grants a point to the next player.

Players receive bonuses for certain combinations, which move their pegs further along the board. The major strategy of cribbage comes from determining the order in which to play cards to earn the maximum number of points from various combinations. After the hands have been played, players earn points by calculating the different combinations possible with their four cards and the starter card. The process then repeats until one player scores exactly 121 points.

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