(Previous section: Cribbage rules - muggins)
In the standard six-card cribbage game the winner is the first player to reach 121 points, and the end of the board. The cribbage rules do not require you to score exactly 121; any score that takes you past 120 points is enough to win - provided you get to count it! If the loser has not reached 91 points the victor scores a skunk, or double win. Some players also set a double skunk line at 61, for a three (or four) game victory, which adds a certain piquancy to a crushing defeat. The double skunk rules are optional, however.
A double skunk (courtesy of Steve Ercolini)
Now that you know the basic rules of Cribbage, you can start learning about Cribbage strategy and the secrets of the Cribbage masters!
Al & Carol Turriff emailed to ask:
You're in the stink hole. Can you cut a Jack and then go out? I say yes you can. Is this correct?
Under normal circumstances, if the dealer turns up a Jack as the starter card, she scores 'two for his heels'. 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.
However, some people like to play a local rule that you are not allowed to score 'his heels' (and sometimes 'go') if you are in the stinkhole (the 120th hole, one short of game). Sometimes this also applies if you need 5 or fewer points to win. There is nothing to stop you playing this rule if you want, so long as all players agree it beforehand.
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!