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The Mechanics of Playing Cribbage

Object of the Game

The aim of cribbage is to become the first player to accumulate 121 points.

Number of Players

The most common game is for two players. However, there are three player and four player variations of cribbage and generally the same basic rules will apply.

The Cards

With the exception of the Jokers (which are discarded from the pile), a regular 52 deck playing cards is used in the game. There are no higher or lower suits since they are regarded as having the same value. The face cards (J, K, and Q) are worth ten points, A has a value of 1 point and the other cards follow their face values.

The Cribbage Board

The cribbage board is used to keep track of the scores accumulated by individual players throughout the duration of the game and the value of the recent incremental points.

Order of Play

To determine who will be the first player to deal in the initial game of the match, the deck of cards will be cut. The player with the lowest card becomes the dealer. Afterwards, the loser of the last game is the first dealer.

The cards are dealt by the dealer and after a compulsory cut by the non-dealers (pone), disseminate a card one at a time to individual players, starting with the non-dealers, until every player has six cards.

Individual players dispose of two cards which will make-up the crib, which is owned by the dealer.

The pone cuts the remaining cards to choose a starter card, which is important in totaling the amount of individual player's hands and the crib.

The Game Play

Play rotates with every player discarding one card (cards are facing up on the table) at a time beginning with the non-players. The accumulated worth of each card used is stated as individual cards are played.

When the accumulated value of 31 is surpassed by a player, that player shouts "go" and the opponent resumes playing the possible cards (not going over 31 points). The player who called out "go" is the first player in the subsequent 31-point order.

Points are accumulated at this stage of game play When the two players have no cards left, the hand of the pone is scored and marked by the pone. The dealer then does a similar thing for the hand of the dealer and then finally the crib. The deal rotates among the players until the conclusion of the game that is when one player accumulates 121 points.