Captain's Cribbage

Captain's Cribbage is a variant of cribbage for three players. It is played as three-handed cribbage except that two players team up against the third. The lone player (the Captain) must make only 61 to win, while his opponents score jointly and must make 121 between them. Each person takes a turn at being the Captain.

Cribbage en Español

El juego de crib en castellano!

Reglamentos de cribbage

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Cribbage tournament rules

How to set up a cribbage tournament

There are many cribbage tournaments held by local cribbage clubs, and even regional and national events. You could set up a cribbage tournament of your own with a few friends, which could be played as a single event or over a period of several days.

If you need a reference copy of the rules of cribbage, try our printable cribbage rules.

Types of cribbage tournaments


The most common way to play tournaments is in groups of nine, round-robin fashion. Each player plays one game with each of his eight opponents, scoring 2 for a game won and 3 for a skunk. At the end of the tournament the player with the most points wins. The spread points (how many points you won or lost by) should be recorded for each game so that the total net spread points may be used as a tiebreaker.


Everyone plays everyone else. When one undefeated player remains, she is the winner.

Single elimination

As soon as you lose a game, you're out!

Double elimination

As with single elimination, except that you must lose two games to be out. In each round after the first, winners play winners, and losers play losers. After each round any double losers are removed from the competition.

Rules and penalties

Cribbage rules in tournament play are generally stricter than when playing amongst friends or socially (though the same etiquette applies). For example, penalty points are scored for a renege. See the cribbage penalties page for full details.

Variations on cribbage rules

Cribbage rules have remained largely unchanged since the game first originated in the 17th century, but there are many variations on the standard rules of cribbage and many different forms and variants of the game. Captain's Cribbage is perhaps the best known, and most widely played.

Cribbage rules

Standard cribbage rules

Variations on cribbage scoring

Cribbage scoring can count against you instead of for you, as in Lowball cribbage.

Number of players

The number of players can include one, for solitaire cribbage, two, as in the normal cribbage rules; three, in three-player cribbage and Captain's cribbage, or four, in four-player cribbage.

Number of cards

The number of cards in a cribbage hand can vary from five, in five-Card cribbage, to seven, in seven-card cribbage.

Cribbage rules

Simple cribbage rules

The rules of cribbage are simple - it's one of the easiest card games to learn and certainly one of the most satisfying. Once you've read through our simple rules for cribbage, you'll be playing in no time!

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