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Cribbage ... A Game for All Ages

Updated on February 1, 2015
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Fifteen Two, A Pair Is Four, and Knobs Is Five

Cribbage. I learned to play when I was only in Kindergarten. Mom was a stay at home parent, and my Dad came home every day during his lunch break. We would sit at the dinner table to eat a simple lunch together, and afterwards (every day) they would play one game of cribbage. Repeat this ritual most days during breakfast and supper throughout childhood and you have a whole family - there were 6 of us kids - who are going to learn to love the game.

Need further evidence for family love of the game? This is a picture of the family cribbage board that was gifted to us by close family friends nearly 40 years ago. It is our official cribbage board for the three-handed game. I think I'm safe in saying that, "Go get the toilet seat and a deck of cards," was not a common phrase in most households.

I'd like to take this page to share with you a little more about the game and myself. Photos on this page are my own.

The Essential Traveling Cribbage Board

Folding Standard Cribbage Board - Made in USA
Folding Standard Cribbage Board - Made in USA

I recommend having a cribbage board for every room in the house and most importantly one that travels, like this one. Keep it in your car or with your camping supplies because you never know when you'll have 20 minutes or 20 hours to kill. Some of my favorite places to play cribbage are in the campsite, in the ice shanty, and on a picnic, so "the traveler" is essential.

 
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Whose Crib Is It?

Cribbage dates back to the 1600s in England.

In my family, cribbage dates back to my grandparents who taught my parents to play. Everyone in my family learned to play young. It's what we do when we get together.

Eat dinner... play a game of cribbage. Visit my 98-year-old great aunt... play a game of cribbage with her. Go home for a visit... play a game of four-handed with my parents. Attend a family reunion... watch the older relatives play one game after another and teach the younger ones to play. The game brings us together and helps us to connect and reconnect over something as simple as a cribbage board.

GSI Outdoors 99885 Toboggan Cribbage Board
GSI Outdoors 99885 Toboggan Cribbage Board

If you can't be out riding a toboggan on a winter's day, snuggle up to a fire with a friend and this toboggan cribbage board.

 

Cribbage Factoids

  1. It is impossible to have a cribbage hand that is worth 19 points. So if you are playing, and your opponent tells you they "got a 19 hand" they mean it is worth exactly zero points. I get a lot of 19 hands.
  2. If your opponent asks if you would like to cut the cards before they deal, do not take them up on it. Unlike many other card games where cutting the deck is acceptable or encouraged, cutting the cards before the deal in cribbage means you automatically lose the game (at least that's how my family played). I learned this lesson the hard way from my uncle.
  3. The highest number of points that a player can get in one hand is 29 and it's called a perfect hand. It's rare. I've never had a perfect hand in my life!
  4. Counting points is called "pegging," and it's done by moving the back peg the correct number of points (holes on the cribbage board) ahead of the front peg.
  5. Another word for the pegs is "spillikin." It's fun to say the word spillikin!
  6. Cribbage can be played with anywhere from two to six people, but two, three and four handed are most common. My older brother was my four-handed partner against my parents for years; now my husband is my partner against them.

Outside Inside Tin Boat Cribbage Board
Outside Inside Tin Boat Cribbage Board

Row, row, row your... cribbage board! Fun and unique, you'll be "on board" with cribbage in no time!

 

Free Online Cribbage Links

Sometimes we live far away from our favorite Cribbage partners, or we prefer to play alone. Here are links to a few of the better free online Cribbage options avaialble.

Unique Cribbage Boards Make Great Gifts - For people who love the outdoors

Cribbage Boards
Cribbage Boards

Perfect for the cabin as a decorative piece or for everyday use!

 

Cribbage Lingo

Cribbage is sprinkled with lots of quirky and fun terms.

Which cribbage term below is your favorite (or makes you want to learn the game)?

See results

Make Your Own Cribbage Board

Cribbage Board Templates & Kits - available on Amazon

I love the kits for creating your own cribbage board! They include almost everything you need including the drilling template, bits in just the right size, spillikens (game pegs) and tiny storage doors. They come in a variety of styles and patterns. If you want to see more, just click on any of these and look at what else Amazon has to offer.

ChefwareKits 393 Cribbage Board 2-lane Template Starter Kit, Steel
ChefwareKits 393 Cribbage Board 2-lane Template Starter Kit, Steel

This is the basic model and it works great for the simplest of cribbage boards.

 

© 2012 Monica Lobenstein

To Play or Not to Play... - Cribbage is the answer.

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    • Brite-Ideas profile image

      Barbara Tremblay Cipak 

      4 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      well this is an extremely popular game in my family! so much so that I could easily say it's an honorary part of our family history

    • AcornOakForest profile imageAUTHOR

      Monica Lobenstein 

      4 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      @Nancy Hardin: Stay on the computer and play online. :) Thanks for the visit!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 

      4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Love it! I didn't learn to play Cribbage until I was grown, when a friend taught me. We used to play quite frequently, but I moved away and now I'm so preoccupied with writing I don't take the time to do it any more. I do have one person I could play now if I can ever get off the computer.

    • orange3 lm profile image

      orange3 lm 

      6 years ago

      This was always a game played at all for our family functions when I was a kid. Now, it's been awhile since I've played.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      This game is so much a part of our family. I miss playing with my dad. My parents also played every day. They taught my youngest son to play, too (Patrick). I can't remember if I learned to play from Grandpa and Grandma or Dad and Mom. (I know Grandpa and Grandma taught us all to play sheepshead.) Thanks for sharing this..

    • profile image

      dream1983 

      6 years ago

      Great lens, well done! Squidlike

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Never played, but it looks interesting and those who do are obviously passionate about it!

    • aurora7 profile image

      aurora7 

      6 years ago

      I need to learn to play this game!

    • biminibahamas profile image

      biminibahamas 

      6 years ago

      Heheheee ... enjoyed your lens!

    • IMKZRNU2 profile image

      IMKZRNU2 

      6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

      Nice lens....Cribbage is a lot of fun. I learned to play at work (shhh). Thanks for sharing.

    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 

      6 years ago

      Cribbage is great! My best friend and I have lived together for years, and we're entirely capable of losing a straight weekend to the cribbage board!

    • BobZau profile image

      Bob Zau 

      6 years ago

      Cribbage is awesome fun! What a genius topic ; )

    • najem lm profile image

      najem lm 

      6 years ago

      I have never tried it but probably will soon :)

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