Cribbage rules - the basics

The cards and cribbage board

Cribbage is played with an ordinary 52-card deck with the jokers removed. The cribbage boards used to keep score are traditionally made of wood, with 30, 60 or 120 holes per player.

The deal

The rules require that the game starts with a cut. The player cutting the lower card is the dealer. He should shuffle the pack and offer it to his opponent (the non-dealer is known as pone) for a further cut. Although the official rules of cribbage dictate that the dealer must offer the cut or take a two-point penalty, in friendly games this is usually not insisted upon and you are free to cut or not as you wish (see more about ). The dealer then deals six cards to each player.

The deal alternates with each hand. Over several games, the first deal may alternate between the players, or it may go to the loser of the previous game. One common convention in a 3-game match is to alternate the first deal of the first 2 games, then cut for the last. This is not part of the official rules, however.

The game then proceeds to the discard

Continue to Cribbage rules - the discard.

Dealing and cutting

Our 4 generations have played this game for more than 100 years now but once in a while someone goes off track and swears to a new rule. After the dealer is selected by cutting low card, he or she is allowed to shuffle, and then offer the cut to the player (4 person) to the left, right, or does it matter? Dealing the cards is to go left to right or right to left, or does it matter?

Does the dealer offer to cut the deck before deal?

I've played Cribbage for over forty years and was taught that and always played that if you offer a cut, you lose the deal. That is why Cribbage has been referred to as "The Cheating Man's" card game.

cut in cribbage

After the cut for the deal (low card wins); I have always played (more than 40 years) if the dealer offers the cut, and the deck is cut by the non-dealer, the dealer gets one point. In other words, no cuts allowed without penalty.

Offering a cut in cribbage.

I've been playing cribbage as long as you have and I agree with you 100%. My father taught me the game when I was 10 years old. He said if you offered your opponent a cut you lost the deal and consequently your crib.

I suppose the rules have been twisted and bent pretty much over the years but I'm sticking with how I was taught.

I’ve been playing cribbage

I’ve been playing cribbage for years and I was taught and continue to play the opposite way. When you’re the dealer, you offer your opponent the option to cut, which the opponent may decline if they wish to. I was never taught the two-point penalty for not offering the cut as a dealer. Looking at the bottom of the cut without penalty - learned that also, though I don’t play that way anymore.
Twisted and bent rules - perhaps I guess. *shrugs*
It’s not surprising that I was taught differently, given 400+ years of global cribbage history.

Dealing and cutting

Our 4 generations have played this game for more than 100 years now but once in a while someone goes off track and swears to a new rule. After the dealer is selected by cutting low card, he or she is allowed to shuffle, and then offer the cut to the player (4 person) to the left, right, or does it matter? Dealing the cards is to go left to right or right to left, or does it matter?