Cribbage rules and cribbage strategy make the discard one of the key elements of skill in cribbage. You must try to maximise the remaining points in your hand, while leaving yourself useful cards to play in different tactical situations during the pegging, and without giving your opponent cards which may help her in the crib. When discarding to your own crib, you will be trying to anticipate what kind of cards your opponent is likely to give you, and discard cards which will work with them to create big scores in the crib.
Cribbage discard hints
Here are some simple hints to help you get started with your cribbage discards:
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.
See our discard strategy page for more information.
See the leading strategy page for more information.