Cribbage- The Card Game
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Cribbage- The Card Game

The game of Cribbage can be played by two to four or more players, involving grouping of cards in combinations to gain certain amounts of points. Cribbage has a special scoring system, which is recorded on a specially formulated score board. Thought to have been derived from the old English game Noddy, in the early 17th century, Cribbage is one of the most popular games played in English speaking countries today. The goal of the game is to score a target number of points first, usually which have to be 61 or 121.

The distinct features of the Cribbage game include a crib or box, which was a separate hand for the dealer and a cribbage board for score keeping. There are two different scoring phases in the game called the play and the show. Players can score points for card combinations that amount to fifteen, pairs, flushes and runs. The dealer deals five or six cards to the players depending on the number that is playing the game. For two players six cards each are dealt, for three or four players five cards are dealt each. Player on the dealer’s left starts playing, by laying down one card on a personal pile of discarded cards, stating the total value of the cards laid so far. For example if the first player puts down a five then ‘five’ is said aloud, the next player laying down a six says ‘eleven’. The total should never exceed 31, and when no more cards are left with a player the total value is restored to zero, and the players with remaining cards have to complete the process before all the cards are played. A player scores points on reaching 15 on the cumulative card value, for reaching exactly or near about 31, and for runs and pairs. Player can choose the order of laying their cards so as to reach the highest score.

The play being complete, players receive points based on the composition of their hands. Points are gained for combinations totaling fifteen, pairs, flushes, runs and having a same suit Jack as the starter card. The dealer’s hand is scored last. The cards in the crib are put face up, which are scored as an additional hand by the dealer. Scores from 0 to 29 are possible, but scores of 19, 25, 26, and 27 are not possible in the cribbage game. The scores are recorded on the cribbage board having a series of ‘streets’ or holes, on which pegs, also known as spilikins, are placed to tally the scores. The cribbage board is an essential part of the game because the scoring system in Cribbage is quite complex, impossible to maintain on paper. Two pegs are used to tally scores, with one score marking the previous points incurred. This allows players to keep track of their scores, and even if they forget to peg up their scores for a particular round the previous score would help them to calculate the next one. A series of games should be played to determine the overall winner.
May 13, 2008, 7:06 pm

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