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Corners in cribbage

Corners in cribbage is a term which derives from the layout of the cribbage board. A traditional board is laid out in two rows of 30 holes for each players, and the winner is the first to 121 points - or twice around the board.

Consequently, when you reach the end of a row and start pegging up the next row, you have turned the "corner". Sometimes wagers or bonuses are placed on corners, won by the first player to reach that corner, although there is no additional score for corners in the standard cribbage rules. Some boards have extra markers for corners scored by each player.

The rows in between the corners are often called "streets", so a player with between 1 and 30 points is said to be "on First Street", and the home straight between 91 and 120 points is known as "Fourth Street'. The streets and corners are especially important in understanding positional strategy in cribbage.

(Thanks to Sam Van Wyck for this info.)

Pone in cribbage

'Pone' in cribbage is the name given to the non-dealer player in a two-player game, or the player to the dealer's left in a three or four-handed game.

Go to the main cribbage rules page

Planet Cribbage

The things you learn on Twitter! Cribbage fiend and tournament player Chris Parsons has a great blog all about cribbage, called Planet Cribbage! Chris writes on cribbage strategy and has some great tips, for beginners and advanced players alike.

I particularly liked the article Three Levels of Thinking in Cribbage, where Chris explains how thinking deeper into the game and thinking a level above your opponent can really improve your results.

For advanced players, also check out Cribbage Tells: Five Ways Your Opponents Reveal Their Hand - how to work out what's in your opponent's hand from their mannerisms and the cards they play. If you can master this psychological level of cribbage (and hide your own tells) you'll definitely be a better cribbage player!

Cribbage strategy: replying to the lead

As there are so few cards played in a hand of cribbage, strategy is important with each play. Your choice of reply to the opponent's lead can be critical.

  • Never play a 6 to a led 4, or vice versa. This leads to a nasty sting as your opponent slaps down a 5, for five points (4-6-5 run and 15). It is a common mistake in cribbage strategy to set up runs for your opponent. Unless you've got a plan up your sleeve, of course...

  • Get rid of your higher cards first, as they will be a liability when the count approaches 31. Save Aces - they are your emergency escape strategy to turn a point-losing 30 into a 2-point-winning 31 (but get rid of lone aces - see below).

  • Do not pair your opponent's card unless you also hold another of the same card in reserve. For example, if your opponent plays a 4, you should not reply with a 4 if it is the only 4 you hold - because your opponent is quite likely to have another 4 herself (making a pair royal for 6 points). Conversely, you should encourage your opponent to pair your card when you yourself hold a pair. The chances of her holding the fourth card to make double pair royal (12 points) are minimal.

  • When holding two cards that together make 5 (for example 4 and Ace), lead one of them. Your opponent is likely to play a 10 onto it, enabling you to make 15.

  • Watch for runs! Don't play a card with a value 1 or 2 away from your opponent's card - for example a 9 on a 7 - as he is likely to complete the run. The exception, of course, is when you hold the necessary card to extend the run yourself and top your opponent's points. Beware of 'banging your head' on 31, though - calculate beforehand whether you will be able to play onto the run without going over 31.

Go to the main cribbage strategy page

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