Cribbage Card Game Rules: How to Play

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Cribbage is a distinctive card game known for its unique scoring system using a cribbage board. It combines elements of luck, strategy, and numerical skills.

The Deck and Players

  • Players: Typically 2, but can have 3 or 4.
  • Deck: Standard 52-card deck.


  • To be the first to score 121 points (traditional game) or 61 points (short game) by making combinations of cards.


  1. Dealing: Each player is dealt a hand of six cards (two-player game) or five cards (three or four-player game).
  2. Creating the Crib: Each player discards two cards into a separate pile known as the crib, which belongs to the dealer.
  3. Cutting the Deck: A card is cut from the remaining deck to serve as the ‘starter’ card for scoring.


  • Points are scored for card combinations in hand and in play, such as pairs, runs, and cards that total fifteen.
  • The crib and the starter card are used in scoring by the dealer.

The Cribbage Board

  • Used for keeping score, with pegs marking each player’s progress.


  • The first player to reach the target score along the board wins.


  • Deciding which cards to keep and which to discard into the crib.
  • Anticipating the opponent’s moves and playing defensively when needed.

Cribbage is a game of strategic foresight and numerical agility, offering a unique blend of traditional card play and scoring.

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