Cribbage, as set up on SafeHarborGames(SHG) is a two player game, played with a standard deck of 52 cards, with King high, and Ace low.
On a live board, score is kept on a cribbage board with two pegs for each players. One peg shows the current score for the player, and
the other shows the previous score. In the SHG version, we show the cribbage board with the pegs denoting the proper scores, but we also
show the scores next to the Player's nicks at the top and bottom, respectively.
The red color always indicates the player sitting on the left or host seat, and green indicates the player on the right. Match
Scores for the players appear at the top left and right. Game options appear at the bottom, left and right. The cribbage board is
shown on the right side of the table.
A hand of Cribbage includes three stages :
- Preliminaries - the deal, discard to crib, and the start card.
- The Play of the cards and scoring
- The Show and scoring
The players each draw a card from the deck (Cut Cards). The player with the lowest card is the dealer. The dealer shuffles,
deals six cards to each player, and sets aside the deck.
Before play begins, each player discards two cards into the crib. The crib belongs to the dealer, and will count towards their score
during the "Show" phase. After the crib is established, the start card is drawn by the dealer. If the start card is a Jack, the dealer
immediately gets 2 points for a "Two for his heels". This will count towards the scoring during
the Show phase as well.
The play of the cards may take several rounds. In turn, each player lays down a card face up on the table. The total value of the cards
cannot exceed 31. The value of the cards are :
|Equal the number on the face
|Face cards (jack, queen, king)
In addition, certain combinations of sequential cards earn additional points by the player who lays down the completing card. If a player's
turn comes and they are unable to play a card that will keep the the point total under 31, they pass ("Go"). Once both players pass, or one
player lays down a card that then totals the cards to 31, the hand is over. If either player still has cards, they start a new round, and
repeat till they both run out of cards.
|15 - Playing a card that brings the cumulative point total to exactly 15
|Pair - Playing a card of the same rank as the last card played
|Pair Royal - Playing a card of the same rank as the last two cards played
|Double Pair Royal - Player a card of the same rank as the last three cards played
|Runs - adding a card that when combined sequentially with two or more of the last cards played creates a run.
|1 per card
|31 - adding a card that brings the total of the cards played to exactly 31 points
|Last Card - The player that plays the last card of the round or hand, without matching 31 points.
During the show, the cards of the non-dealer, dealer, and then the crib are scored base on the various combination of cards they have.
The non-dealer cards are scored first, then the dealer's, and then the crib, which gets added to the dealer's score. Note that at any
time, either during play, or show, one player's score reaches or passes the point length, the game is over. No further scoring occurs.
During the show, the Player following the dealer is first to count his hand; if the winning score has not been reached, then ...
The dealer's partner counts his hand next ; if the winning score has not been reached again... then
The opponent's partner counts his hand; if the winning score still has not been reached... then
The dealer counts his hand; if the winning score has not been reached... then
The dealer's crib is counted last. After counting all 5 hands you continue playing until the winning score has been reached.
|Nobs - A jack of the same suit as the Start card
|15's - Any combination of any number of cards that adds up to 15
|Pairs - Same as in the Scoring during the Play
|2, 6 or 12
|Runs - Same as in the Scoring during the Play
|1 per card
|4 Card Flush - Four original cards all the same suit. Does not count for the crib
|5 Card Flush - Four original cards and start card all the same suit. Crib counts as well
Remember that scoring is immediate when earned. This helps enforce that the game is over when the first player reaches or surpasses the
point length of the game. No further scores are tallied, so the game could be over during play, during the middle of show, or even when
the start card is drawn, if it is a jack, and pushes the score over.
If you're the dealer, put two cards in the crib that will give you the greatest chance to score during the show. Strong discards include
Fifteen-two's, Pairs, fives, mini-fives (two cards that add up to 5), consecutive cards, Jacks. With a disproportinate number of "10" cards,
play to complete a fifteen. If you are the non-dealer, then avoid contributing the above cards. Instead, play cards that strengthen your
own hand. For instance, if you make a flush by getting rid of two cards, then discard them.
If leading, start with a four or lower. This increases the odds of you being the one to complete a fifteen. If you can't try playing
into a run or royal pair. If you have a 6-7, lead with a 7 to encourage your opponent to play the 8 for fifteen, then play your 6 for a
If not leading, play defensively. If you can't make 15, play a card to go over 15 so your opponent can't get the points. Hold on to
low cards, since this increases the odds of you playing last card, or making 31.