cribbage krĭb´ĭj [key], card game played by two persons with a deck of 52 cards and a scoring (pegging) device known as a cribbage board. The board contains four rows of 30 holes each (two rows for each player), plus additional holes, called game holes. Each player gets two pegs to keep the score. The English poet Sir John Suckling (1609–42) is credited with inventing and naming the game. Each king (high card), queen, jack, and ten represents a count of 10 points; each ace, a count of 1; each other card, its index value. Each player receives six cards and lays away two face down to form the crib. The stock is then cut by the pone (nondealer) to produce the starter, which is turned up by the dealer; the starter is used to determine the value of the players' hands. Cards are placed face up alternately, nondealer first, in front of the player, who announces the total count. The object of each series is to carry the total of the cards to 31 or as close as possible without exceeding it. A player pegs 1 for laying down the last card in a series before reaching 31, or he pegs 2 for adding a card that makes exactly 31. Points also are scored for making the count 15 and for playing cards in sequence or in pairs. When all the cards have been played, each player pegs additional points for the pairs, sequences, and counts of 15 that can be arranged from the cards in his hand and the starter; the dealer also pegs the score in the crib. Several hands are played until the game is reached when one player pegs 61 points (once around the board) or 121 points (twice around).

See D. Anderson, All about Cribbage (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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