Over 10 million people across the United States and more in Canada enjoy a good old fashion game of cribbage and more people are taking the game on regularly. Cribbage was created by the English poet Sir John Suckling in the early 17th century. Here are a few reasons why many people enjoy cribbage and why it continues to become more and more popular.
1. Can be played with 2 - 4 people
Many people enjoy a fun and interactive game amongst couples or friends and like the idea of just grabbing a deck of cards and playing a game between 2 people. Cribbage boards are great as you can buy them in many different unique styles, they are offered as either 2 player, 3 player, and even 4 players. The 4 player boards are a little harder to come by, which is why we decided it was a good idea to make all our personalized cribbage boards as a 4 player so you have the option. The number of cards dealt does change between 2 and 4 player but the rules remain the same.
2. Skills help but luck is 80%
You don't have to play cribbage long to understand the dynamics of the game and even though there are some skills involved. The majority of a cribbage game comes from the luck of the cards, and as long as you know how to put the sequences together playing against someone who has played for years versus just learning will have no better chance than the other.
3. Simple Rules
Cribbage does not require a lot of learning, the rules are simple in fact. It truly comes down to knowing some simple math and equations to put the game to life. We believe this is why it's such a popular game as well, one round and you will have it figured it out in no time.
4. Can be played as a tournament
Not everyone will play cribbage competitively but cribbage boards are one of the only games that are legally playable on a licensed premise such as pubs or clubs. This allows restaurants to host cribbage tournaments locally to raise funds for charitable organizations and provide prizes to the winners. This can be a great opportunity for a fun night out, but also meet some more local cribbage players in your community. After all who doesn't love a little healthy competition against your peers.
5. Be creative and make it personalized
You will notice as you learn the cribbage game more that many people enjoy it, and some of which go out and get a custom board made up for them that is unique and personalized. Cribbage boards are starting to become the next Chess edition of game boards where they are no longer stored away in your game collection but instead a centerpiece on your coffee table!! If you love the game and play often than a high-quality cribbage board might be something to consider so you can enjoy it for years to come.
Now here is some insight behind some of the history and stats behind Cribbage!
So what are the statistics behind a good cribbage hand?
- On average the dealer pegs 3.5 points per hand.
- The pone pegs an average of only 2.1 points.
- The dealer can expect to score about 16 points on each hand (including crib and pegging).
- The pone can expect to score, on average, 10 points (including pegging).
- Dealers can score up to 26 points.
The best hand in cribbage is 29, now as far as how often this can happen its slim but here is a little stats behind getting yourself the best hand in the game!
The highest scoring cribbage hand you can get is worth 29 points. It consists of a Jack and three fives. The cut card is the five of the same suit as the Jack. So, there are actually four different hands that are worth 29 (each suit). Even so, your odds of getting this “perfect hand” is only 1 in 216,580!
That's a very low chance, wouldn't you agree! I have yet to get this hand, however I have come across some pretty amazing hands in my years of cribbage so I'm not complaining, however, I think it would be pretty cool to get this hand at least once. Don't you think?
So how does it work? There are eight different fifteens, each worth two points. The four-of-a-kind is worth another 12 points. Finally, nobs are worth one point, bringing the total to 29.
Any ten or face card other than a suited Jack will also give you an impressive 28 points. There are 76 possible hands in which that happens, so your odds are slightly higher than the true 29 hand, though still extremely slim when it comes to the possibility.
The allure of the perfect 29 hand is so great that many people have it depicted on custom cribbage boards like this one, we like to focus on the 29 on our cribbage boards and use this template for everyone. However, some of our boards are designed to not have an outline of the 29 but instead appear more invisible so the focus is on the image rather than the board layout.
If you are new to cribbage and are not sure of all the lingos and what to look for to gain points! Here are some things to know.
Cribbage Board: A board design with 120 holes per player to keep score of your hand. The first person to reach the end will win the game. (We have a great selection of cribbage boards here to view for purchase)
Dealer: The one who is dealing with the cards and receives the crib hand as an added bonus to their round, to determine the person who deals first at the start of a game. Each person playing should cut the deck to see who gets the lowest card. The one with the lowest card flipped deals the first round. Following that its the person to the left of the dealer who deals next.
Pone: The person not dealing the round.
Pegging: During a round of play, we use the word pegging as a term to gain additional points during the round. Ex. Your opponent starts the round with a 10 and you have a 5 in your hand, so you lay this down to equal 15 and you earn 2 peg points.
Crib: The hand received from all the players to add to another hand for the dealer. (with 2 players, each player puts in 2 cards - and for 3 and 4 players each player puts in 1 card and for 3 players, you add one card from the deck to equal 4)
Cut Card: The card flipped over by the dealer after the opponent cuts the deck at the start of each round. The players use the cut card when scoring their hands. Sometimes called the Starter Card.
Go: A player says go when they can't play a card without exceeding a total count of 31. The opponent scores a point on a go. Ex. If your opponent is at 28 and you do not have a 3 or less in your hand to score up to 31 you would call a go to your opponent. The opponent may add another card to the pile after you have said go if they have the right amount of points to not exceed 31.
Thirty-one: Words said by a player who makes the count 31 and in doing so will score 2 points.
Fifteen: 15 comes up twice in cribbage: During the play of cards and also when counting hands. In either spot, a combination is worth two points. So, you'll hear Fifteen-Two, Fifteen-Four, etc when counting your points at the end of the round.
Pair: Two cards of the same rank. Scores 2 points. Example: Ace of hearts and ace of spades. You can earn these points during a round (referred to as pegging) and also at the end when counting your cards for hands.
Three of a Kind: Three cards of the same rank. Scores 6 points (because three different pairs can be created, each worth 2 points). Example: Nine of clubs, nine of spades, nine of diamonds. Again you can earn these points during the round and receive peg points.
Four of a Kind: Four cards of the same rank. Scores 12 points (because six different pairs can be created, each worth 2 points). Example: Four of hearts, four of diamonds, four of spades, four of clubs. This can also be earned during a round for peg points, as long as all the cards equate to less than 31.
Run: Three or more cards in sequence. For example, 5-6-7 is a three-card run. Scores one point per card. Also called a straight. This is earned during pegging as well as when adding your points at the end of the round.
Flush: When all the cards in the hand or crib are of the same suit.
Nibs: If you are the dealer, and you flip the cut card and its a Jack you earn 2 nib points. Your opponent can steal these points from you if you don't catch it in time.
Nobs: Jack of the same suit as the cut card, either in the hand or crib. The player scores one for his nobs.
Match/Tournament: A series of games. For example, players may play a best of seven matches.
Skunked: When the loser scores 90 points or less they are said to be skunked. Sometimes called lurched instead. This counts as 2 wins for the winner, and 2 losses for the loser.
Double Skunked: When the loser scores 60 points or less they are said to be double skunked. This counts as 4 wins for the winner, and 4 losses for the loser.
Game Hole: The final hole (hole number 121) on the cribbage board.
Twenty-nine: 29 is the best possible cribbage hand score.
Ready to purchase your very own custom cribbage board and start playing with your spouse or friends?
Are you a cribbage fan? If so when did you learn cribbage and what has been your best hand to date?