traps

Cribbage strategy

Basic cribbage strategy

Cribbage strategy is a key part of playing and winning cribbage. Merely knowing the cribbage rules is not enough to play well. Here are some hints on basic cribbage strategy which should keep you out of the worst of trouble until you have started to get the hang of things.

General cribbage strategy tips

  • Don't lead a 5 or a 10-card. If you do, you give your opponent the chance to score 15-2.
  • Aim to bait your opponent to create runs during play. For example, if you lead with a 7, your opponent could play 8 for 15-2. You can then play a 9 to score three points for a run of 3.
  • Leading from a pair is often a good idea. If your opponent plays the matching card, you can play your own card, scoring 6 points for a pair royal.
  • Throw good cards to your own crib, such as pairs, two cards in sequence, or 5s.
  • If it's the opponent's crib, discard your least valuable cards. Avoid giving them any cards that make easy 15s, such as 5s, or ten-cards.
  • Approaching the end of the game, hang on to low cards and don't discard them. You'll have more opportunities to score points for go.

Discard strategy

See our discard strategy page for more information.

Leading strategy

See the leading strategy page for more information.

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