Players playing cribbage card game.

If you like playing cards, you must play Cribbage. It’s a fun and challenging game requiring around 2-6 people. Some might find the game a bit intimidating at first blush, but it is easy to learn and play.

If you want to learn how to play Cribbage, you need a Cribbage board and a deck of cards. Keep reading to learn about this game in detail.

Setting Up and Forming Hands

Scroll down to understand how to play Cribbage for beginners.

Get a Cribbage Board

Cribbage does not include Joker in the game. The players require at least two pegs each for scoring, which are present at the bottom of the board. Additional pegs are included in the game to keep track of match scores. One can also track their score using pencil and paper.

Learning to use the pegs is an essential step of learning how to play cribbage board. The purpose of two pegs is to indicate the score of the previous and current turn. It helps you to recheck the score of the current turn quickly.

Any player who collects 121 points wins the game. The game ends immediately if this happens in the middle of a deal. Two trips around the board are sufficient for a long game, but for short games, one trip, i.e., 61 points, is enough.

Pick a Dealer and Deal the Hand

One needs to pick a deck of cards and shuffle it a couple of times to determine the dealer. In a face-down manner, place the card on the table. Each player must pull one card, where the person with the lowest card becomes the dealer. Then every player gets 6 cards each.

The dealer can take advantage of the crib but cannot immediately peg out or get 3 points. Whereas non-dealers can peg out even before the dealer tally their score. The dealer can be rotated in multiple rounds as you rotate turns.

Form the Crib

During the crib, the players must look at their cards and choose 4 in their hands. The remaining two cards can be put in a face-down manner near the dealer, and this is called a crib. In the end, players can look at this hand, but it is only reserved for the dealers.

The crib plays an important role in Cribbage. Dealers can use cribs to save their best cards from being used later. Non-dealers must try to give weak hands to jeopardize the performance of dealers.

Flip the Starter Cards

The cards are cut by a player who does not deal. Then the dealer flips the cards over. Players can use this card as a fifth wild card to count points at the end. The dealer immediately gets 2 points if the starter card is Jack.

Scoring Points

If you want to learn how to play Cribbage 2 players, you learn about scoring points.

Start Counting

The players of this game lay their cards in their own piles, which start from non-dealers. While playing each card, the player calls out the value of the total. The value of face cards is 10, whereas all the other cards are worth their numeric value.

Thecribbage rule says the Ace is worth 1 point. Remember that suits do not matter in this game. The game stops when no one lays down a card, or the value becomes 31.

Here’s an example of how counting works:

  • Suppose one player has laid a 3 and another has laid a 4. Here, the first one calls out 3, whereas the second call out 7 as it’s the cumulative total of all the cards.
  • These cards are kept in separate piles because each player’s hand is tallied. But each player can see every card that is played.

Start Pegging

It means players must start making pairs, runs, and other combinations. You must use the card that your opponents are lying. You are rewarded with extra points for pairs, runs, and number combinations. You must move the peg around while scoring.

Here are some rules to bear in mind:

  • Each player is eligible to get 2 points for itching 15 points exactly. For pairs and triplets, points are earned. For example, if player one lays 7 and player two also lays 7 immediately, it would reward him with 2 points. Similarly, if player 1 lays another 7, he gets 6 points. Lastly, the fourth seven will result in 12 points.
  • If a player makes consecutive card sequences, they can score points. There can be consecutive cards without being in order. Suppose, player one lays 3, and player two lays 5. The first player will be rewarded with three points for immediately playing 4. Similarly, if the second player lays 2 to 6, they would get 4 points.
  • The player can take a point for lying final card after 31. Players can be rewarded with a point by laying a card that makes exactly 31.

How to Win the Game of Cribbage

If you want to win the game of Cribbage, you need to score 121 or 61 points. This point can either be reached via pegging or by counting hands. If there is a situation where a player wins before their opponent crosses the halfway mark, then the victor is considered to win two points instead of one.


Cribbage is a fun game that may seem confusing but is easy to learn. If you want to learn how to play Cribbage for dummies, you can play Cribbage online for free at play Cribbage game.