Corissa Pumphrey

Written by Corissa Pumphrey

Modified & Updated: 02 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Cribbage is a classic card game that has been enjoyed by millions of players around the world. With its rich history and strategic gameplay, cribbage has become a favorite among card game enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned player or new to the game, there’s always something new to learn and discover about cribbage.

In this article, we’ll delve into 20 fascinating facts about cribbage that will not only pique your interest but also deepen your understanding of the game. From its origins and development to its unique scoring system and popular variations, we’ll cover a wide range of topics to give you a comprehensive insight into this timeless game.

So, grab your deck of cards, shuffle them up, and let’s embark on a journey through the intriguing world of cribbage!

Key Takeaways:

  • Cribbage, a classic card game, was invented in the 17th century and is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. It’s a mix of strategy and luck, and can be enjoyed by 2 to 6 players.
  • Players score points by forming card combinations and aiming to reach 121 or 61 points. The game has special rules like “His Knobs” and “Muggins”, and even has a tournament scene.
Table of Contents

The Origins of Cribbage

Cribbage is believed to have been invented in the early 17th century by Sir John Suckling, an English poet and courtier. The game quickly gained popularity among sailors and was often played aboard ships during long voyages.

A Deck of Cards

Cribbage is played with a standard deck of 52 cards. The cards are ranked from King (highest) to Ace (lowest) in each suit.

Two to Six Players

Cribbage can be played with two to six players, although it is most commonly played with two or four players. The game involves a combination of strategy and luck.

The Crib

The crib is a special area on the board where players can score additional points by strategically discarding cards.

Scoring Pegs

Cribbage is scored using pegs on a scoring board. Each player has two pegs, and the board allows for easy point-tracking throughout the game.

Counting Cards

The objective of cribbage is to be the first player to reach a certain number of points, usually 121 or 61, by counting the value of cards played during each round.

The Starter Card

Before each round, a starter card is drawn from the deck. This card can be used by all players to form combinations and score points.

Card Combinations

Players can score points by forming specific combinations of cards, such as runs (consecutive cards of the same suit) or pairs. These combinations can be formed using the cards in their hand and the starter card.

The “Go” Count

If a player cannot play a card without exceeding 31 points, they say “Go” and their opponent continues to play until they can no longer make a move. The player who last plays a card scores a point for the “Go”.

The Cribbage Board

The cribbage board has a specific layout with holes for the scoring pegs. It also includes additional markings for tracking certain combinations, such as 15s or pairs.

15s and Pairs

Players can score points by making combinations that add up to 15 (e.g., a 4 and an 11, or a 10 and a 5) or by forming pairs with the same rank (e.g., two Kings or two 2s).

The “His Knobs” Rule

If a player has a Jack of the same suit as the starter card in their hand, they score an additional point. This is known as “His Knobs”.

The Skunk Rule

In some versions of cribbage, if a player reaches the winning score (e.g., 121) before their opponent has scored 90 points, it is considered a “skunk” and the losing player’s score is doubled.

The Muggins Rule

In certain variations of cribbage, if a player fails to score points that they could have claimed, their opponent can “mug” them by scoring those points for themselves.

Cribbage Tournaments

Cribbage has a strong tournament scene, with players competing in local, national, and international events. These tournaments often feature skilled players who have mastered the strategies of the game.

The House of Lords

Cribbage has a long history of being played by members of the British nobility. It was often enjoyed as a pastime during social gatherings and at exclusive clubs.

Online Cribbage

In addition to traditional face-to-face games, cribbage can now be played online. There are numerous websites and platforms that offer multiplayer cribbage games.

Cribbage Variations

While the basic rules of cribbage remain the same, there are several variations of the game, including Captain’s Cribbage, Crash Cribbage, and Kings Cribbage.

Cribbage in Pop Culture

Cribbage has made appearances in various books, movies, and TV shows over the years. It is often portrayed as a game of skill and strategy.

The Joy of Cribbage

Cribbage is a game that combines luck, strategy, and social interaction. It has been enjoyed by players of all ages for centuries, making it a timeless classic.


In conclusion, cribbage is a fascinating card game that has captivated players for centuries. Its unique scoring system and strategic gameplay make it a favorite among both casual players and seasoned enthusiasts. Learning the rules and strategies of cribbage can provide hours of fun and engagement, whether you’re playing with friends and family or participating in competitive tournaments.With this comprehensive list of 20 facts about cribbage, you now have a deeper understanding of the game’s history, rules, and interesting trivia. So, gather your cards, sharpen your counting skills, and get ready to embark on a journey of card-playing excellence with cribbage. May your pegs always move forward and your hands be filled with glorious points!


Q: How many players can participate in a game of cribbage?

A: Cribbage can be played with two, three, or four players. The most common variation is for two players, but the rules are easily adaptable for more players.

Q: What is the objective of cribbage?

A: The objective of cribbage is to be the first player to score a certain number of points, typically 121 or 61, by forming various card combinations and strategically playing cards to maximize points.

Q: What is a crib in cribbage?

A: The crib is a separate hand of four cards that is created by each player during the deal. The crib is used by the dealer to gain additional points during the scoring phase.

Q: How are points scored in cribbage?

A: Points in cribbage are scored for various card combinations, such as pairs, runs, and cards that add up to 15. Additional points can also be earned during the play phase for reaching specific milestone numbers.

Q: Can I play cribbage online?

A: Yes, there are numerous online platforms and mobile apps that allow players to enjoy cribbage against opponents from around the world. These platforms often offer both casual and competitive gameplay options.

Q: Is cribbage a game of luck or skill?

A: Cribbage requires a combination of both luck and skill. While luck determines the cards dealt, strategic play and skilled decision-making are crucial for maximizing points and winning the game.

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