What Are the Game Rules for Cribbage?


Quick Answer

The object of the card game cribbage is to go up and down the cribbage game board twice, or reach 121 points. Players earn points by taking turns laying down cards that combined cannot add up to more than 31.

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Full Answer

In cribbage, the dealer deals six cards to each player and sets the rest in a pile face-down. Each player discards two of his cards face-down into what is called the crib. The dealer is the only one who can score from the crib. The non-dealer cuts the remaining cards and reveals the top, or starter, card. If the revealed card is a jack, the deal earns two points.

The game begins when the non-dealer places one of his cards face-up. A card is equal to the number on it, except aces which are equal to one, and face cards which are equal to ten. Next, the dealer lays down a card and totals the value of both cards. Players continue alternating laying down cards until neither player can make a move without going over 31. The last player to place a card down without going over 31 scores a point. However, if the total is exactly 31, the player earns two points.

At the end of each round, each player scores the four cards in his hand, plus the starter card, and then play begins again. The dealer also adds the crib cards into his score.

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