runs

Cribbage Pegging Broken Run

Cribbage Play went

Me - 4
Him - 2
Me - 3 for 3 points
Him - Ace for 4 points
Me - 5 for 7 points
Him - 2
Me - 4

Do I get 5 points because the last 5 cards form a run, or not because he broke the run with the 2?

Reset runs and pairs after GO during counting

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?

Double 4-card run

Seems like double runs come in two flavors: a double run of 3 (e.g. 3-4-4-5 with any cut) or a double run of 4 (e.g. T-J-Q-Q with K cut).

I see two ways to score such a double 4-card run: as multiple 3-card runs, or multiple 4-card runs.

Example using the above TJQQK: either four 3-card runs (TJQ twice = 6 and JQK twice = 6) makes 12, and a pair is 14 total. Or, two 4-card runs for 8 (TJQK twice = 8), and a pair is only 10 total.

Wha? Which one is correct, and why? I'm just guessing I'm required to score this the second way. But I don't see why it should be one way or the other.

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

Aces in cribbage

Scoring aces: Is the ace high in cribbage?

In cribbage aces are always counted as one point, rather than as elevens or fourteens as in some other games. So, for example, A-2-3 is a run, but Q-K-A is not.

Counting aces as ones instead of elevens is part of the official rules of cribbage and not decided by the players' choice.

scoring runs during play?

I am so confused about scoring a double run while pegging. Suppose the play goes 3-2-A. At that point the player playing the ace scores 3. If his opponent plays another Ace, does he score 4 for a run of 4 plus 2 for the pair?

What if the play goes this way 3-3-2-A. Does the player of the Ace count 3 or 4? What if tne next play is another A? What does that player count?

Can someone state the rule about scoring runs & pairs during play clearly enough that even an idiot like me can get it?

Cribbage rules - the scoring

(Previous section: Cribbage rules - the go)

Having played out all the cards, both players then score their hands, pone first - this time including the turn-up card as part of both hands. The dealer's crib also includes the turn-up. Again, points are scored for 15s, runs, and pairs; you can also score for a flush (all cards of the same suit) - see the cribbage scoring chart below for a handy reference. It is a key part of the rules of cribbage that the non-dealer should score first - at the end of the game, both players may have enough points to win, and the right to score first will determine victory. The cribbage board's positions usually alternate during the game, with first one player leading, then the other. The trick is to be in the first-scoring position when you are close enough to win!

Cribbage flush

If the four cards in your hand are of the same suit, you score four for a flush (a cribbage flush, unlike in poker, doesn't beat three of a kind!). If the starter card is also of the same suit, you score five. However, in the crib you cannot score a four-card flush; all five must be the same suit. These rules occasionally have local variations, so check to make sure which rules are being used. In an official tournament, the American Cribbage Congress rules apply.

Some cribbage rules sites explicitly state that flushes are not scored in cribbage. This is incorrect, at least according to the American Cribbage Congress rules, which are the nearest thing to an official set of rules for cribbage.

Cribbage pairs

2 points are scored for a pair in cribbage, and 6 for a pair royal - that is, three cards of the same rank. This can be considered as 3 different pairs worth 2 points each. Similarly, double pair royal (four of a kind) scores 12 as there are 6 ways of picking two cards from four. You begin to see why mathematicians love this game.

Combinations of cards making 15 score two points each - for example, 8 and 7. As many ways as you can make 15 with your cards, you score 2 points for each of them. For example, 8-7-7-A can make 15 three ways: the 8 and one 7, the 8 and the other 7, and the 7-7-A. Consequently it scores 6 points (for 15s, and a further 2 for the pair of 7s).

Cribbage runs

Runs score as many points as there are cards in them. For example, a four-card run 9-T-J-Q scores 4.

Cribbage nobs

You also score 1 point if you have the Jack of the same suit as the starter card (known as 'his nob' or just 'nobs').

Cribbage scoring chart

You can print out this cribbage scoring chart and keep it handy when you're playing!

Score Value Comment
15 2 -
Pair 2 -
Pair royal 6 Three of a kind
Double pair royal 12 Four of a kind
Run 1 per card Runs need not be in numerical order (eg 3-5-6-4) but they must be consecutive (3-4-4-5 does not score).
Go 1 The go is scored by the last player to lay a card.
31 2 The 2 points for 31 includes a go (by definition no-one can go when the total is 31). So no extra point is scored for the go.
Nobs 1 "One for his nob" is scored if you hold the Jack of the turn-up suit.

Continue to Cribbage rules -example hands

Cribbage rules - the play

(Previous section: Cribbage rules - the turn-up)

The count

Following the deal, the discard and the turn-up, the hand proper begins.

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).

Pairs

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").

Runs

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.

Continue to Cribbage rules - the go

Scoring a 29 hand

Dennis writes:

Can you break down the count of 29 as it is supposed to be counted?  It seems you are not allowing the Jack to be counted with the 4 5's for another 8 points which would give 36 points.
Please help me with my confusion over this.
Kind Regards.
Newbie

Dennis,

The 29 cribbage hand page does not explain how the score is broken down, so here goes!

We score the 29 hand in the same way as any other: taking 15s first, then pairs, runs, flushes and nobs.

First count 15s. The Jack makes 15 with each of the 5s, that's 4 15s. Also, there are 4 ways of choosing three different 5s to make additional 15s. That's 8 in total, for 16 points.

Then pairs: there are 6 different pairs of 5s, for another 12 points. That's 28 so far.

There are no runs or flushes, so the Jack of nobs gives us a final point for 29.

I hope this helps!

Out of order runs

Lucy writes:

If a sequence like: 2-4-5-3-7-6. Can the person that put the 6 count 6 points?

Lucy,

Indeed she can! And if her opponent held an Ace, he could play it for another 7 points. Anyone who plays a card which completes a run, whether in order or not, scores a point for every card in that run.

I hope this helps.

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