Eight-Card Cribbage 

is sometimes played. Six are retained in hand, and the game is conducted on the same plan as before. 

 Three-Hand Cribbage 

is sometimes played, wherein one person sits out, not each game, but each deal in rotation. In this the first dealer generally wins. 

 Three or Four-Hand Cribbage

differs little from the preceding. They put out but one card each to the crib, and when thirty-one, or the nearest to that has been made, the next eldest hand leads, and the players go on again in rotation, with the remaining cards, till all are played out, before they proceed to show hands and crib. For three-handed cribbage triangular boards are used. 


The game of Cribbage differs from all other games by its immense variety of chances. It is played with the full pack of cards, often by four persons, but it is a better game for two. There are also different modes of playing—with five, six, or eight cards; but the best games use those with five or six cards. 

Night is not Dark to the Good.

 Six-Card Cribbage

The two players commence on an equality, without scoring any points for the last, retain four cards in hand, and throw out two for crib. At this game it is of advantage to the last player to keep as close as possible, in hope of coming in for fifteen, a sequence, or pair, besides the end hole, or thirty-one. The first dealer is thought to have some trifling advantage, and each player may, on the average, expect to make twenty-five points in every two deals. The first non-dealer is considered to have the preference, when he gains ten or more the first hand, the dealer not making more than his average number. 

  Counting for Game in Cribbage.

When he whose turn it is to play cannot produce a card that makes thirty-one, or comes under that number, he says, "Go," and his antagonist scores one, or plays any card or cards he may have that will make thirty-one, or under. If he can make exactly thirty-one, he takes two points; if not, one. Such cards as remain after this are not played, but each player then counts and scores his hand, the non-dealer first. The dealer then marks the points for his hand, and also for his crib, each reckoning the cards every way they can possibly be varied, and always including the turned-up card.

cards points
For every fifteen 2
Pair, or two of a sort 2
Pair-royal, or three of a sort 6
Double pair-royal, or four ditto 12
Knave of the turned-up suit 1
Sequences and flushes whatever their number.

 Maxims for laying out the Crib Cards.

In laying out cards for the crib, the player should consider not only his own hand, but also to whom the crib belongs, as well as the state of the game; for what might be right in one situation would be wrong in another. Possessing a pair-royal, it is generally advisable to lay out the other cards for crib, unless it belongs to the adversary. Avoid giving him two fives, a deuce and a trois, five and six, seven and eight, five and any other tenth card. When he does not thereby materially injure his hand, the player should for his own crib lay out close cards, in hope of making a sequence; or two of a suit, in expectation of a flush; or cards that of themselves reckoned with others will count fifteen. When the antagonist be nearly up, and it may be expedient to keep such cards as may prevent him from gaining at play. The rule is to baulk your adversary's crib by laying out cards not likely to prove of advantage to him, and to lay out favourably for your own crib. This applies to a stage of the game when it may be of consequence to keep in hand cards likely to tell in play, or when the non-dealer would be either out by his hand, or has reason for thinking the crib of little moment. A king and a nine is the best baulk, as none can form a sequence beyond it; king or queen, with an ace, six, seven, eight, or nine, are good ones to put out. Low cards are generally the most likely to gain at play; the flushes and sequences, particularly if the latter be also flushes, are eligible hands, as thereby the player will often be enabled either to assist his own crib, or baulk that of the opponent; a knave should never be put out for his crib, if it can be retained in hand. 

 Terms Used in Cribbage

  1. Crib.—The crib is composed of the cards thrown out by each player, and the dealer is entitled to score whatever points are made by them.
  1. Pairs  are two similar cards, as two aces or two kings. Whether in hand or play they reckon for two points.
  1. Pairs-Royal  are three similar cards, and reckon for six points, whether in hand or play.
  1. Double Pairs-Royal  are four similar cards and reckon for twelve points, whether in hand or play. The points gained by pairs, pairs-royal, and double pairs-royal, in playing, are thus effected:—Your adversary having played a seven and you another, constitutes a pair, and entitles you to score two points; your antagonist then playing a third seven, makes a pair-royal, and he marks six; and your playing a fourth is a double pair-royal, and entitles you to twelve points.
  1. Fifteens.—Every fifteen reckons for two points, whether in hand or play. In hand they are formed either by two cards—as a five and any tenth card, a six and a nine, a seven and an eight, or by three cards, as a two, a five, and an eight, two sixes and a three. If in play, such cards as together make fifteen are played, the player whose card completes that number, scores two points.
  1. Sequences  are three or four more successive cards, and reckon for an equal number of points, either in hand or play. In playing a sequence, it is of no consequence which card is thrown down first; as thus:—your adversary playing an ace, you a five, he a three, you a two, then he a four—he counts five for the sequence.
  1. Flush.—When, the cards are all of one suit, they reckon for as many points as there are cards. For a flush in the crib, the turned-up card must be of the same suit as those put out.
  1. Nob.—The knave of the suit turned up reckons for one point; if a knave be turned up, the dealer marks two.
  1. End Hole.—The point scored by the last player, if he make under thirty-one; if he make thirty-one exactly, he marks two.
  1. Last.—Three points taken at the commencement of the game of five-card cribbage by the non-dealer.

Nor is Day Bright to the Wicked.

 The Accepted Laws of Cribbage.

  1. The players cut for deal. The ace is lowest in cutting. In case of a tie, they cut again. The holder of the lowest card deals.
  1. Not fewer than four cards is a cut; nor must the non-dealer touch the pack after he has cut it.
  1. Too many or too few cards dealt constitutes a misdeal, the penalty for which is the taking of two points by the non-dealer.
  1. A faced card, or a card exposed during the act of dealing necessitates a new deal, without penalty.
  1. The dealer shuffles the cards and the non-dealer cuts them for the "start."
  1. If the non-dealer touch the cards (except to cut them for the turn-up) after they have been cut for the start, he forfeits two points.
  1. In cutting for the start, not fewer than three cards must be lifted from the pack or left on the table.
  1. The non-dealer throws out for the crib before the dealer. A card once laid out cannot be recalled, nor must either party touch the crib till the hand is played out. Either player confusing the crib cards with his hand, is liable to a penalty of three points.
[In three and four-hand cribbage the left-hand player throws out first for the crib, then the next; the dealer last. The usual and best way is for the non-dealer to throw his crib over to the dealer's side of the board; on these two cards the dealer places his own, and hands the pack over to be cut. The pack is then at the right side of the board for the next deal.]
  1. The player who takes more points than those to which he is entitled, either in play or in reckoning hand or crib, is liable to be "pegged;" that is, to be put back as many points as he has over-scored, and have the points added to his opponent's side.
[In pegging you must not remove your opponent's front  peg till you have given him another. In order "to take him down,'' you remove your own back peg  and place it where his front peg ought to be, you then take his wrongly placed peg  and put it in front of your own front, as many holes as he has forfeited by wrongly scoring.]
  1. No penalty attaches to the taking of too few points in play, hand, or crib.
  1. When a player has once taken his hand or crib, he cannot amend his score.
  1. When a knave is turned up, "two for his heels" must be scored before the dealer's own card be played, or they cannot be taken.
  1. A player cannot demand the assistance of his adversary in reckoning hand and crib.
  1. A player may not, except to "peg him," touch his adversary's pegs, under a penalty of two points. If the foremost peg has been displaced by accident, it must be placed in the hole behind the peg standing on the board.
  1. The peg once holed cannot be removed by either player till another point or points be gained.
  1. The player who scores a game as won when, in fact, it is not won, loses it.
  1. lurch —scoring the whole sixty-one before your adversary has scored thirty-one—is equivalent to a double game, if agreed to previous to the commencement of the game.
  1. A card that may be legally played cannot be withdrawn after it has been once thrown face upwards on the table.
  1. If a player neglect to score his hand, crib, or any point or points of the game, he cannot score them after the cards are packed or the next card played.
  1. The player who throws up his cards and refuses to score, forfeits the game.
  1. If a player neglect to play when he can play a card within the prescribed thirty-one, he forfeits two holes.
  1. Each player's hand and crib must be plainly thrown down on the table and not mixed with the pack, under penalty of the forfeiture of the game.
The player who refuses to abide by the rules, loses the game. Bystanders must not interfere unless requested to decide any disputed point.

 Examples of Hands in Cribbage

cards count
Two sevens, two eights, and a nine 24
Two eights, a seven, and two nines 20
Two nines, a six, seven, and eight 16
Two sixes, two fives, and a four 24
Two sixes, two fours, and a five 24
Two fives, two fours, and a six 24
Two threes, two twos, and an ace 16
Two aces, two twos, and a three 16
Three fives and a tenth card 14
Three fours and a seven 12
Three twos and a nine 8
Six, seven, eight, and two aces the ragged 13
6 + 1 and 8 15-2
6 + 1 and 8 16-4
6 + 1 + 1 + 7 15-6
7 + 8 15-8
the pair of aces 
and the sequence 5

Three sixes and a nine 12
Three sevens and an eight 12
Three eights and a seven 12
Three nines and a six 12
Three threes and a nine 12
Three sixes and a three 12
Three sevens and an ace 12
Two tens (pair) and two fives 12
Two tenth cards (not a pair) 
and two fives

Two nines and two sixes 12
Two eights and two sevens 12
Two sixes and two threes 8
Two fives, a four, and a six 12
Two fours, a five, and a six 12
Two sixes, a four, and a five 12
Two threes and two nines 8
Two nines, a seven, and an eight 10
Two eights, a seven, and a nine 12
Two sevens, an eight, and a nine 12
Two sixes, a seven, and an eight 10
Two sixes, a three, and a nine 8
A seven, eight, nine, ten, and knave 7
A six, seven, eight, nine, and ten 9
A six, seven, eight, and nine 8
A six, five, and two sevens 8
Any double sequence of three cards and a pair 
(as knave, queen, and two kings).

Any sequence of three cards and a fifteen 5
Any sequence of four cards and a fifteen 
(as seven, eight, nine and ten)
Any sequence of six cards 6
Any sequence of four cards and a flush 8
Any flush of four cards and a fifteen 6
Any flush of four cards and a pair 6

The highest number that can be counted from five cards is 29—made from four fives and a knave; that is, three fives and a knave of the suit turned up, and a five on the pack—for the combinations of the four fives, 16; for the double pair-royal, 12; his nob, 1-29. 

Rustle is not Industry.