AskDefine | Define cribbage

Dictionary Definition

cribbage n : a card game in which each player is dealt 6 cards and discards one or two to make up the crib [syn: crib]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. In the context of "Card games": : A point-counting card game for two players, with variants for three or four players; the (cribbage board) used for scoring to 61 or 121 points in numerous small increments is characteristic.

Quotations

  • 1918, Katherine Mansfield, Prelude, Selected Stories, Oxford World's Classics paperback 2002, page 114
    How much more real this dream was than that they should go back to the house where the sleeping children lay and where Stanley and Beryl played cribbage.
  • 1919, Ronald Firbank, Valmouth, Duckworth, hardback edition, page 31
    "No one remembers cribbage now,"

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Extensive Definition

Cribbage, or crib, is a card game traditionally for two players, but commonly played with three, four or more, that involves playing and grouping cards in combinations which gain points. Cribbage has several distinctive features: the cribbage board used for scorekeeping, the eponymous crib or box (a separate hand counting for the dealer), two distinct scoring stages (the play and the show) and a unique scoring system including points for groups of cards that total fifteen.
According to John Aubrey, cribbage was created by the English poet Sir John Suckling in the early 17th century, as a derivation of the game "noddy". While noddy has disappeared, crib has survived, virtually unchanged, as one of the most popular games in the English-speaking world. The objective of the game is to be the first player to score a target number of points, typically 61 or 121. Points are scored for card combinations that add up to fifteen, pairs (plus triples and quadruples), runs and flushes.

Rules

The players cut for first deal, and the dealer shuffles and deals five or six cards to each player, depending on the number of players. For two players, each is dealt six cards; for three or four players, each is dealt five cards. In the case of three players, a single card is dealt face down in the centre of the table to start the crib. Once the cards have been dealt, the players look at their cards. Each player chooses four cards to retain, then discards the other one or two face-down to form the "crib" which will be used later by the dealer. At this point, each player's hand and the crib will contain exactly four cards. The player on the dealer's left cuts the deck and the dealer reveals the top card, called the "starter". If this card is a Jack, the dealer scores two points for "his heels", also known as "his nibs".

The play

Starting with the player on the dealer's left, each player lays one card in turn onto a personal discard pile, stating the cumulative value of the cards laid (for example, the first player lays a five and says "five", the next lays a six and says "eleven", and so on), without the total going above 31. Once no more cards can be played, the cumulative position is reset to zero and those players with cards remaining repeat the process until all players' cards have been played. Players score points during this process for making a total of fifteen, for reaching exactly, or as close as possible to a total of thirty-one, for runs and for pairs. Players choose the order in which to lay their cards in order to maximise their score according to the scheme shown below. If one player reaches the target (usually 61 or 121), the game ends immediately and that player wins.

The show

Once the play is complete, each player in turn receives points based on the content of his hand in conjunction with the starter card. Points are scored for combinations of cards totalling fifteen, runs, pairs, flushes and having a Jack of the same suit as the starter card ("one for his nob"). The dealer scores his hand last and then turns the cards in the crib face up. These cards are then scored by the dealer as an additional hand in conjunction with the starter card.
Scores between 0 and 29 are all possible, with the exception of 19, 25, 26 and 27. Players may refer colloquially to a hand scoring zero points as having a score of nineteen.

Cribbage board

References

Bibliography

cribbage in German: Cribbage
cribbage in Esperanto: Kribaĝo
cribbage in French: Cribbage
cribbage in Dutch: Cribbage
cribbage in Russian: Криббедж
cribbage in Swedish: Cribbage
cribbage in Turkish: Cribbage
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