Nobs in cribbage

In cribbage, nobs is the name given to the Jack of the turn-up suit. That is, if the turn-up card is a four of Diamonds, then the player holding the Jack of Diamonds scores an extra point in her hand, known as "one for nobs" (sometimes "knobs") or "one for his nob" (or sometimes "his nibs"). This is a very old term, which probably dates back to the origins of cribbage. What is a nob? The word is British English slang for an important person, so perhaps this is why.

The nob Jack (or "right Jack" as it's also known, is essential for scoring a perfect 29 hand, and also affects discard strategy - you should try to avoid throwing a Jack to your opponent's crib if possible.

See also two for his heels - the score the dealer makes if the turn-up card is itself a Jack.

getting 29 in your "crib"

(this is a cool page; we've enjoyed reading it during a cold winter day in Maine ... after a few games of crib of course)

My dad has been after me for years to determine the odds of getting a 29 hand in his "crib" while dealing in a four-player game. Anyone know? Thanks.

Absolutely Astronomical

In two-player cribbage, there are 12,994,800 possible hands in Cribbage.

Out of those almost 13,000,000 possible hands you will get 4 of them as a 29 hand or roughly one in every 3.25 million hands. Most people play cribbage for a lifetime and never see one that they can score.

I have never even heard of one in a crib, let alone one in a doubles or 4-person crib. I am not even sure how you could calculate it (even though it is possible) three of the people have to throw a 5 into the crib and another the correct Jack and then have a 5 cut. Let me look into it more and get back to you later. Great question though!

Found it!

The odds of getting a 28 hand in a two-player game are 1 in 15,028.
The odds of getting a perfect 29 hand in a two-player game are 1 in 216,580.
The odds of getting a perfect 29 hand in a three- or four-player game are 1 in 649,740.

What that does not do though is give you the odds of getting that hand in your crib, which is much higher, because unlike the deal, all the players have to make an effort to place those cards into the crib to get the 28 or 29 hand.

Varients of the his nobs and heels?

I know there are variants of the his heels rule where in the last 5 holes of the game they cannot be scored.

BUT:-- i have come across the odd player that has told me that there is a variants in which you cannot "go out" with the "his nobs" point.. thus 1H,3D,4S,JC with a 10C turn up would only count as 4 NOT 5..

i have searched around on the net and have yet to confirm this.

anyone?

his nob

I was intrigued by the fact (according to www.pagat.com) that while in North America it is common for players to say "his nobs" (plural), in Britain "his nob" (singular) is more common. I did a bit of googling around about the origins of this phrase. An explanation that came up a few times that makes sense to me is the following. "Nob" is British slang for "head". So "one for his nob" means "one for his head." On that understanding it makes sense that "his nob" scores 1 point (a real person has just one head) while "his heels" scores two points (a real person has two heels). That would make the singular "his nob" preferable to the plural "his nobs."

Now you might be thinking: But wait, face cards each have two heads -- an upper and a lower one! Well, it turns out that this didn't used to be true. In previous centuries face cards typically depicted the whole person. So the jack (and king and queen) in fact used to have visible heels. However, this design turned out to have a disadvantage: when players picked up their dealt cards, their face cards would often by chance be upside down in their hand. Were a player to physically turn a face card in his/her hand right-side up, this would signal to the opponent that the hand contained a face-card -- a bad move! Thus the design was changed so that the face cards are symmetrical top-to-bottom. This meant removing the lower-half of the body of the jack, king, or queen. So no more heels were depicted, but of course the phrase "his heels" was by that time already firmly entrenched in cribbage.

his nob

I was intrigued by the fact (according to www.pagat.com) that while in North America it is common for players to say "his nobs" (plural), in Britain "his nob" (singular) is more common. I did a bit of googling around about the origins of this phrase. An explanation that came up a few times that makes sense to me is the following. "Nob" is British slang for "head". So "one for his nob" means "one for his head." On that understanding it makes sense that "his nob" scores 1 point (a real person has just one head) while "his heels" scores two points (a real person has two heels). That would make the singular "his nob" preferable to the plural "his nobs."

Now you might be thinking: But wait, face cards each have two heads -- an upper and a lower one! Well, it turns out that this didn't used to be true. In previous centuries face cards typically depicted the whole person. So the jack (and king and queen) in fact used to have visible heels. However, this design turned out to have a disadvantage: when players picked up their dealt cards, their face cards would often by chance be upside down in their hand. Were a player to physically turn a face card in his/her hand right-side up, this would signal to the opponent that the hand contained a face-card -- a bad move! Thus the design was changed so that the face cards are symmetrical top-to-bottom. This meant removing the lower-half of the body of the jack, king, or queen. So no more heels were depicted, but of course the phrase "his heels" was by that time already firmly entrenched in cribbage.

Nobs and a flush

In cribbage each card is counted for a value or property (being part of a mathematical equation that equals 15 or being part of a pair, a run, or a flush) however a jack while having a flush (5 cards matching suits) the value of the jack matching the suit of the cut card is counted twice once as nobs and counted again as part of a five card flush. Is there another time where a cards single value gets to be counted twice. It's not as if the jack was with a five.... Then the value of the jack being counted would be separately counted once for being part of a 15 and then again for matching the suit of the flipped or cut card but with a flush it's the same property the suit matching that gets counted twice. anyone else notice this?