How do you handle runs and pairs during play after go is called? For example, play is 10, Q, K, pegs 3 for the run, opponent calls "go". Person calling "go" then leads with a 9. Does this peg 4 for a run, or does the run reset after go?
Similar, play is 10, Q, K (peg 3), opponent calls "go". Player calling "go" then plays a K - is this a peg for 2 or does the play after "go" reset ability to do a pair?
What is Five Hundred Cribbage?
I am indebted to Mr Herb Barge who sent me scans of a book written by a distant relative of his in the 30s, Thomas B. Stauff. This book, entitled "Rules of Play governing '500' Cribbage, Thomas system, a Modern Version of Cribbage", appears to be a fairly radical re-working of the game.
Basic lead strategy in cribbage
If in doubt, lead a 4. This is the highest card on which the opponent cannot immediately make 15. Lower cards are best kept for later.
Remember that ten-cards in cribbage far outnumber any others in the pack. Thus, your opponent is quite likely to have one or more 10s. Consequently, do not lead a 5, or make 21. Naturally enough, 10s are often accompanied by 5s. Beware of making 26.
Conversely, making 11 is generally a good move, providing of course you hold the necessary ten-card to follow up your opponent's.
(Previous section: Cribbage rules - the play)
The cribbage rules for scoring 'go' sometimes cause confusion. You earn a point for go when your opponent cannot go. This may be (a) because he has no cards (sometimes called 'One for last'), or (b) because he cannot play without going over 31 ('One for the go'). In either case if you make the total 31 you score only 2 points on the cribbage board, not 3 (because the go is included, as described above). However, you may well make 15 with the last card (in which case you do score 3).
An example sequence of play showing the rules for pegging points by both players:
Alice (pone) plays a 4, for a total of 4, and says 'Four.'
Bob plays a 7, for a total of 11, and says 'Eleven'.
Alice plays another 4, for a total of 15, and says 'Fifteen for two.' [and pegs 2 points]
Bob plays a Jack, for a total of 25, and says 'Twenty-five'.
Alice cannot go, as any of her remaining cards would take the total over 31. She says 'go'.
Bob plays a 5, for a total of 30, and says 'Thirty, and one for the go' [and pegs 1 point]
The count now goes back to zero, and the play continues. Since Bob played the last card, Alice goes first now.
Alice plays a 7, for a total of 7, and says 'Seven'.
Bob plays an 8, for a total of 15, and says 'Fifteen for two.' [and pegs 2 points]
Alice plays a 9, for a total of 24, and says 'Twenty-four for three'. [and pegs 3 points for her run of 7-8-9]
Bob cannot go, as he has run out of cards. He therefore says 'Go', and Alice pegs a point for the go. She also has run out of cards and so the game proceeds to the next phase.
Bob (pone) plays a 4, for a total of 4, and says 'Four.'
Alice plays another 4, for a total of 8, and says 'Eight for two.' [and pegs 2 points for the pair]
Bob plays a third 4, for a total of 12, and says 'Twelve for six.' [and pegs 6 points for the pair royal ]
Alice plays a 3, for a total of 15, and says 'Fifteen for two.' [and pegs 2 points]
Bob plays a 2, for a total of 17, and says 'Seventeen for three.' [and pegs 3 points for the run 4-3-2]
Alice plays a 5, for a total of 22, and says 'Twenty-two for four.' [and pegs 4 points for the run 5-4-3-2]]
Bob cannot go without going over 31, and so says 'Go'.
Alice plays a 9, for a total of 31, and says 'Thirty-one for two.' [and pegs 2 points. 'One for the go' is only scored when the scoring player does not make 31. ]
The count is now reset, and Bob plays first, as Alice played last.
Bob plays a Queen, for a total of 10, and says 'Ten.'
Alice cannot go, as she has run out of cards, and so says 'Go'. [ Bob pegs 1 point for the go. ]
For tips on how to make the most of the go, see the cribbage strategy section.
If you say 'Go' when you had a card you could legally play, this is a breach of the rules called a renege.
An optional rule that is sometimes played forbids a player from scoring a go when she is in the stinkhole (on 120 points). This is not part of the standard rules, however.
(Previous section: Cribbage rules - the turn-up)
In the playing phase of Cribbage, the players take it in turns to lay down a card, trying to make the running total equal to certain values. The non-dealer plays first and states the value of her card (for example, "ten" for a Jack). Court cards count ten (together with the face 10 they are known as the 'ten-cards', or 'tenth cards'). Ace counts one.
15 and 31
The dealer then plays a card, the value of which is added to the current running total. The player who makes the total exactly 15 scores two points ("fifteen-two"). Two points are also awarded for making 31. Additionally, you score a point if your opponent cannot play without going over 31 ("one for the go", or just "one for go"). You must play if you can (reneging is against the rules).
If your card is the same rank as the last card played, you score two for a pair. If your opponent plays a third card of the same rank, he scores 6 for a "pair royal" (three of a kind). Four of a kind scores 12 ("double pair royal").
If the last 3 cards played form a sequence, the player making the sequence scores 3 for a "run". For example, 3-4-5 makes a run of 3 and so scores 3 for the player laying down the 5. If the opponent then plays a 6 (or a 2) to extend the sequence to 4 cards, she scores 4, and so on as long as the sequence is unbroken.
Sequence do not have to be in order. For example, if the play goes 7-9-6, you can then play an 8 to score 4 for a run of 4.
The stinkhole is the 120th hole on the cribbage board, one short of winning the game. It's so called because you really don't want to find yourself there!
A commonly-used optional rule has it that if you're in the stinkhole, you can't peg out on a Jack (two for his heels) or a go. Sometimes this also applies if you need 5 or fewer points to win. While this is not part of the standard Cribbage rules, you are free to use this rule so long as all players agree on it beforehand.
The official ACC cribbage tournament rules specifically say that this score still counts even if the dealer would peg out and win the game as a result:
Rule 6.3. Scoring When The Starter Card Is a Jack (His Heels)
a. When a Jack is turned up, the dealer is entitled to two points.
b. The dealer may peg out into the game hole by turning a Jack starter card.
Christine Hendricks writes:
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 ?
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.
Carol Duncan writes:
My friend and I have a question regarding the rules of 'go'. For example say we are pegging and my opponent plays his final card to bring the score to 25. He now has no more cards. I have three remaining cards. I play a 4 to bring the score to 29 and then I can't play again (I have two 8s left). Do I get a go?
Then we start at zero again and I play my two eights. Do I then get three (two for the pair and one for go)? Or is this incorrect?
You score a point for 'go' when you play a card that means your opponent cannot play without going over 31 (or because he has no cards left). You must then play all the cards you can in succession without going over 31. If you make 31 exactly, you score an extra point. If you fail to play a card when you can, this is a renege.
A new count then begins. Whoever plays the last card scores a point for last.
In your example, the play would have run as follows:
You: "Go" (score 1 point)
You: 8 (score 2 points for a pair and 1 point for last card)
I have some questions about situations that can occur during play. Here is an unrealistic example, but it allow me to ask both questions:
* Player A has an Ace, 10 and a Jack left in their hand
* Player B has just played her last card bringing the sum to 19
* Player A plays 10 bringing the sum to 29
* Player B cannot play because she does not have any cards left in her hand
Question 1: Does Player A get a point for "go"?
* Player A plays his Ace bringing the sum to 30
* Player B still cannot go
* Player A cannot go without going over 31 and calls "go"
Question 2: Does Player B get the point for "go" even though she does not have any cards in her hand?
* Player A plays the Jack and scores a point for last
During the play, suppose the play went thusly:
Player 1: 10
player 2: King
player 1: 2
player 2: Ace
player 1: says "go"
player 2: plays a 3 and a 4.
How is this scored?
First player 2 scores a point for go. Then, on playing the 3, he can peg 3 points for the run (A-2-3). Then, on playing the 4, he can peg 4 more points (A-2-3-4), and finally one for last, making 9 in all!
Each card played scores points for any run it completes.