Can you go over 31 in the play?

Christine Hendricks writes:

Hi

I have just read your Simple Cribbage rules, I used to play a lot with my family many years ago, I have now joined a Cards group and they welcome new games, so I thought I wold introduce them to Cribbage, there is something not clear in you rules and I can't remember, during 'The count' when players are laying down the cards what happens when, say for example 4 of a kind came up and they were 8 or above - thus taking the total of the count to over 31? also the same for runs that would go above 31 - do you stop or what ?

Christine,

During the playing phase - as distinct from the scoring phase - each player lays down just one card at a time, and you cannot play any card that would take the running count over 31.

So in your example, 4 successive 8s could not be played. After the third 8 (making the count 24), the next player would have to play a 7 or lower, or 'Go' (meaning they have no legal card to play). (Failing to play a card when you legally could is called a renege and is usually penalised.)

When nobody can play any more cards without exceeding 31, the count is over, and a new count begins at zero, with the last scoring player laying the first card.

counting 6-6-3

How many 15's are in this count. I count 15's twice but I am told that you can only count the 3 cards one time. Is this true? My problem is if there was a third 6 that there is 3 15's. Why can I not count 2 15's with the 2 6's?

Juli in Seattle

counting 6-6-3

"How many 15's are in this count. I count 15's twice but I am told that you can only count the 3 cards one time. Is this true? My problem is if there was a third 6 that there is 3 15's. Why can I not count 2 15's with the 2 6's? "

I presume you are talking about counting the hand at the end of play. In that case, let's say you have 6-6-3-10 with K as your up card. This hand counts as 15-2 (6-6-3) and a pair for 4 (6-6). Remember, you are counting the UNIQUE combinations of cards adding up to 15. Let's look at your other example:

Hand is 6-6-6-3 with a K up card. It would help to label the cards, like so:
6S-6D-6C-3H, KS (Spades, Diamonds, Clubs, Hearts)

This hand counts as 15-6 and a triple for 6 more, for a total of 12 points in the hand. You can make 15 like so: 6S-6D-3H, 6S-6C-3H, 6D-6C-3H. Counting 6S-6D-3H and 6D-6S-3H as two combinations does not count; they are the same three cards.