Your 29 hand stories

Readers' stories of the 29 cribbage hands they've received.

Eric Wineburg

Eric writes:

It has been some time since the 29 point hand that I had, maybe 20 or 25 years ago but you really never forget it when it happens. The one thing that was unique about mine is that it was in the crib! My friend John always had the theory of keeping the most possible points. In his case I dealt him one of the eight and seven card double run combinations and a five and a Jack. So he tossed the five and the Jack into my crib. I would have probably done the same because it is a sweet hand to have and your odds are really good for a great hand.

Myself since it was my crib, I tried to work the hand for the most points but to give myself some possibilities in the crib. Don’t really remember what I had but what did have was two fives and no ten cards to match on, so I dished the fives into my crib.

John had the feeling that I had the 29er when he had cut and the five came up and he knew that he threw the same suit Jack. He then saw me perk up! The anticipation was great waiting until the hand was over to flip over the crib!

Ron Ogan

Ron writes:

I have been playing cribbage just about as long as I can remember and have never had a perfect hand. My wife and I have been playing for 35 years.

This summer while we were on an RV trip my wife and I played 396 games -- exactly how many hands I'm not sure. On July 28, 2010 she had a perfect hand dealt to her which was great but only 45 days later on September 11, 2010 she again was dealt another perfect hand. We estimated that we had played approx. 225 hands between the perfect hands.

I'm sure there have been others with similar luck but I think she probably ranks right up there with the best.


Laura writes:

Hello everyone, my name is Laura and at 22 years I am probably one of the youngest people who still play cribbage. My dad taught me how to play when I was very young and I really love to play. I plan on teaching my own children to play someday and hope to keep the tradition alive.

My dad and I play cribbage together almost every day. He is 73 years old and we recently found out that he has some mild cognitive impairment so playing cribbage now seems more important than ever. It helps him to keep his math skills sharp and it allows us to spend some quality time together. We are very competitive and when we recently hit the 100 game mark I had 51 to his 49.

We sat down to play again this morning. I started off dealing and wound up getting three 5's and a Jack of spades in my hand, as I looked at my hand in disbelief I started laughing and thought no way will I ever cut the 5 of spades. Imagine my surprise when my father cut just that card! I was so amazed I couldn't contain it, I had to show him right away (of course this gave him the advantage in pegging but oh well!) My father has been playing cribbage all his life and this was the first time he had ever seen this hand! I am so glad that he taught me this game that has brought us both so much joy and happiness.

Joyce Knowlton

Joyce writes:

Playing cribbage was a pastime practiced by my mother's family and my father's family.

I don't remember how old I was when my maternal grandfather taught me how to play, but I was about fourteen or fifteen-years-old (this would have been in 1968 or 1969) when I had a perfect hand. To be honest, I don't think I realized it, either. Grandpa shouted as I laid my last card and wanted us to put deck away and not use them again and to call the newspapers. I consented to not using that deck of cards again, but didn't want him to call the papers.

This past week I taught my twelve-year-old niece to play and gave her all the wisdom that her great-grandfather gave me. Which most especially was, "Keep your count!"

Unfortunately, I don't know what happened to that deck of cards.

James Gilly

There is a fine tradition of cribbage playing in the US Navy and especially the submarine service. James Gilly writes:

In 1991, whilst under way on USS Simon Lake (AS 33), I was playing in the R-10 division office with one of the nucs; as I recall, I dealt, and after making my discard said something along the lines of "Go ahead - cut me a five. I dare you." And he did...

My camera was locked in my rack at the time, so we noted the score and the hands and then finished the game. I went and got the camera, and we set up the board and cards for pictures - except that I miscounted when placing my rear peg so the photos look like I cheated and pegged 30.

My second 29 came in 2000 or 2001. I was under way again, this time on USS Providence (SSN 719), and was playing on the mess decks with one of the sonar techs. I honestly can't remember which of us dealt that hand. This time, though, I happened to have my camera in my pocket, so we were able to take pictures immediately and then finish the game.

Dale and Helen Moeller

Dale Moeller and his wife Helen were returning from their 50th wedding anniversary vacation when they decided to play a game of cribbage in their hotel. Helen writes:

My husband calmly said, "Helen, I think I have a perfect hand!" What made it even more exciting was the fact that during our initial card-playing, we were surrounded by a group of friendly Shriners from Kansas, there for a golf tournament, and many of them had stopped at our table to introduce themselves and comment on the game of cribbage. One gentleman in particular, a dentist from Wichita, said that he played on-line 3 times a day and was director of the Shriners' cribbage tournaments. He had never even seen a perfect hand before. My husband's great fortune and luck could have happened at our kitchen table in Wisner, NE, but being amid people who really appreciated and understood the odds of a perfect cribbage hand made it even more awesome!

As an added note, Dale won that game by only one peg -- even with THE hand!! We are very competitive and enjoy cribbage very much. It was my idea to get the board & deck of cards from the car (while he enjoyed his beer) -- he said I didn't have to bother, but I did anyway!! Sometimes this wife of 50 years has a good idea!

Barry McCormack

Barry McCormack of London, Ontario, recently received a cribbage 29 hand in a friendly game with his son. As his daughter Tiffany wrote to me, it was "the first 29 hand he had ever had or seen in over 40 years of playing the game".

What's your story?

Have you ever scored a perfect hand in cribbage? We'd love to hear your perfect hand stories. Why not contact us and share the story?

Go to the main 29 hand page

response to the other laura

Hi, My name is Laura as well,
and I read what you had to say. As I read I thought I was reading my own entry, I too feel like I am the youngest player of cribbage, I am 20. My father also taught me the game of cribbage, it is a popular game in his family. We have a cribbage tournament among family members every year and the winners get trophies. My father and I love cribbage because it keeps our math skill strong and we have benefitted from this in school. Cribbage is a great game and I hope to pass it on to my friends and future family and keep the tradition going.

Thank you,


Our local Pub the Victoria hotel Eastbourne U.K. is trying to get a crib evening going. Your story is an inspiration as we all struggle towards that elusive Holy Grail. This a great game although I find the expressions - vocal and visible from opponents' sometimes helpful in assessing what they have in their hand. Is it sneaky to take a leaf from poker players' book? It's no surprise to read that a player with 3 fives and a jack is so delighted when the fourth 5 is turned up does cartwheels! But hey guys, let's cool it. Which would you rather have -an Ace high straight flush in Spades (I think that's the best you can get in poker) or a 29 in Cribbage? Well neither is likly to happen so I'll opt for the 29!

Response to both Lauras

Hi im Dan,

I know the discussion is about hands of 29, but i wanted to chip in i guess im younger than both you still, im currently 20 and have been playing crib since i could count, also taught by my dad, just wanted to say im glad to know im not the only one roughly my age who still plays!

Perfect 29 hand

My name is Vernon Cummings from Benbrook, TX and I have been playing cribbage for 60 some odd years. I learned the game while in the Navy stationed at NAS North Island,CA in 1950-51. My supervisor, Jim Kennedy AO1, taught me how to play at a penny a point which sharpened the learning curve somewhat! Up until today I have never been dealt a perfect hand. My wife and I play most every day and today I needed 18 points to win the game, she needed eight. It was my wife's crib so I had first count. She dealt me three fives and the jack of spades. My discard was insignificant since I had first count. I cut the cards and my wife turned up the five of spades. I was so excited I showed her my cards which gave her the advantage of playing and pegging out. It never happened! This was my first perfect 29 hand and we shared it with all our friends and family who know the game. Pretty exciting moment!!

Perfect 29

Amazing. Hearty congratulations. The conquering of Everest in Cribbage terms. There should be a book dedicated to the 29ers. My humble effort was a 28 against the computer but your achievement must have your grandchildren salivating.

Keep Cribbage Alive

I think it is wonderful that so many people still enjoy cribbage and I have found that most have been taught by relatives. If you know the game, think about teaching it to a youngster.

If you want to play with other cribbage lovers there are many outlets, but perhaps the best way is joining a league which is perhaps closer than you think. Young and old are welcomed, experienced, or those still learning this ever-changing and challenging game are always welcomed. You can find a Grass Roots club nearby your home or play in tournaments throughout North America. Look to for additional information and Keep Cribbage Alive!

Perfect 29 at Goldbar

Goldbar Espresso is a quaint independent coffee shop in Tempe AZ. It's pretty much cribbage Mecca in these parts, home to Herb Fibel the octagenarian cribbage master and the most affable cribbage evangelist in the southwestern US. In all his years of playing and teaching, the 29 has eluded Herb and had never made an appearance at Goldbar. Until now! On April 10th, 2012 during a game between John (me) and Tom, both Herb's students of about a year, I was dealt trip 5s and the jack of spades on the first hand as pone, then I cut the 5 of spades to complete the 29. Oddly enough I lost the game by over 40 points! I actually had decent hands, but Tom's were phenomenal - I was only up 6 after that first hand. Anyway getting that 29 was amazing. Special thanks to Herb and Goldbar for introducing me to the game and making it possible. Please come visit if you're in the area and drop by for a game.

Perfect 29 at Goldbar

I know from the Goldbar, but haven't seen any cribbage being played.

When do you usually play?

Perfect crib hand

My dad taught me to play crib when I was about 6 years old, and we used to play regularly. Then, when I was about 10, he dealt me a 29-er, and never played me again - like Laura's father, he'd NEVER seen one before! I used to have to play against my brothers, if I wanted a game! Now I'm in my sixties, play regularly (usually against the computer nowadays!), used to play in a crib league, and have only ever scored one more 29.
Incidentally, my father taught me that you don't score 'one for his nob' in the box so, for my money, a 29 in the box is not possible, the best you can do is 28! Bummer if you get that under my dad's rules!
Nice to see that crib is alive and well in the 'colonies' (the US of A!)! Shame it seems to have fallen out of favour here in England. Maybe you should colonise US and re-introduce it!
Dave from 'sunny' Brighton, UK.

UK players

There are lots of players from the UK and all over the world. Having a standard set of rules developed using the American Cribbage Congress (ACC) has helped because before that everyone seemed to have their own rules.

My Grandfathers' 29

My Grandfather had played cribbage his entire life and had never seen a 29 hand. He played with any one that would, played in near by tournaments as much as grandma would let him. He was 78 years old at the time, I was at his house playing cribbage and we were talking about how he would like lto get a 29 hand before he died. We had played our 3 games as we always did (best of 3 was our rule) when his mail came the postman came to the door as he had a large envelope, it was his license plates for his car. I told him that I would put them on for him and he handed them to me unopened. I went out and started to change the plates, he came out after I had the rear plate on the car I was at the front when my grandfather started to laugh, what did I do I thought put it on wrong?, then I walked to the rear of the car next to him he put his hand on my shoulder and pointed at the plate and said I'll take it. Yes his new license number was 5J555. Grandpa lived to 87 played cribbage as offen as he could, I would visit and we played every time, but that was his only 29.


What a great story with the license plate! I might have to look into getting that one on my car as well. If you are looking for a competitive game, check out and find a club near you that you can play with or join.

My 29 hand!

I was playing with my daughter Lauryn last night (04/08/2014) when she dealt me Jd along with 55534. I honestly did not know about the perfect hand, so I did not recognize the opportunity before me, and I almost kept the double run!! Luckily I threw away the 34. I then cut the 5d!! I was shocked when I looked up the odds of getting this hand. My daughter then forfeited the game and went to bed! Anyway, very excited to have one of these. I've been playing for many years, but this is a first for sure!

Peace all!


Unfortunately I've never had the pleasure of getting a perfect hand but this story is to weird not to tell.

Hubby and I play one game of crib almost every day. We usually cut for deal with the low card winning the deal. This day we both cut sevens. I squared up the cards and we cut again in a different place. Again we both drew sevens. The next time around I shuffled the heck out of the cards and you guessed it, we both got sevens again. At that point we decided not to play, frankly because we were getting spooked. We both left the table. About an hour later we decided to give it one more try. I threw all the cards all over the table face down, gathered them up, then shuffled them thoroughly. The fourth time in a row we both cut sevens and I'd swear they were the same sevens as the third time because at that point I started paying attention. Now we are spooked. I said, "no more cutting, you deal." After a good shuffle I couldn't believe the hand he dealt me, three sevens in a row. My deal went without incident but the very next hand he dealt me, again had three sevens.
Coincidentally this was on a Sunday, the seventh day, in July, the seventh month. Now just what are the odds?

Not sure what the odds were,

Not sure what the odds were, but anytime that you cut the same cards more than twice, replace the deck. It is defective and you are cutting the same cards for a reason. Normally it because one or two of the cards is ever so slightly bent and defective.

A 29

In many years of playing I've only once seen a 29 and I held it. The tragedy was that I didn't get to score it! It was a lunchtime game and I was nearly a street behind against an oppo who only needed a few to win, my first take. So I cut the perfect 5 but couldn't avoid runs developing in the pegging and eventually had to lead 5s at him. He pegged out leaving me high and dry :)

I'm 73 around next birthday

I'm 73 around next birthday and have been playing crib both at home on my computer, with my wife and children and for a pub team since I was 18. In all those years, I have never seen a 29 hand.

Your 29 (Two 24's) Hand Stories

While not a 29 hand, my 70 some year old Uncle David and I (68) played a game where we both scored 24. I scored 24 1st and thought I had him for sure. He then scored 24 as well. I was on the stink hole and he was 2 out. I had to lead the next hand. No matter what I lead, he scored 2 points! That was the most exciting loss I ever had - especially for being on the stink hole!! It also was the only game I recall playing where we both scored 24.

Only 29

I loved playing this game with my dad, he taught me all about it. One day, shortly after teaching the notorious 29 point hand, I got it. It was the first time my dad had ever seen it, the first time I ever got it. It was awesome, my dad still beat me, but it was more that cool to share that moment with him.

Great Story

What a great story. 29 hands are rare indeed. Some people will never see them in their lifetime. Keep cribbage alive and teach a younger person. Also join a club. See for more info.

Perfect hand

March 7 2017
Last evening my lady friend of 26 years, and I were playing our usual two games of cribbage. We have averaged playing two games per day, usually seven days with a few days skipped occasionally. However we have had this routine for about twenty three years. During this time we have scored three 28 hands. During our second game last night we were about half way through. I dealt her a hand of three fives, a jack, a queen and a six. She discarded to my crib the queen and the six. The jack was diamonds. With the crib completed the cut was made with the five of diamonds exposed. It took a moment of shock before we both realized the perfect hand had just been achieved. As a side note we play our games using a card shuffler. No errors had been introduced thus our joy was tremendous realizing this significant event had been achieved in our long and joyful cribbage competition. By the way, she did win the game.

Hunting the Snark

I was taught the game 60 years ago by my father, Bert, when I was about 10. I don't remember beating him at it (he probably threw me a game from time to time). I think that his rules were standard; he wouldn't allow 4-card flushes in the box (as we called the crib); he wouldn't allow the dealer to win the game by cutting a jack; he probably played Muggins! with his friends but not with me.

Forty years ago I played hundreds of games over a few weeks with my friend, Vincent. I'm sure that each of us had more than one 28-point hand, and I believe that at least one 29-pointer turned up. That's a high number of rare events in such a (statistically) small number of games. We shuffled and cut before each deal but our shuffles probably weren't perfect, so the deck probably got hotter and hotter.

In the last couple of years I've played more than 4,000 games of Cribbage Classic For Windows 10. The biggest hand so far is 24 points, which is not uncommon.

I'm impressed by this (free) program. It's well designed, enjoyable to use and it plays skilfully (albeit with some strange blind spots in pegging). It keeps some historical statistics and has recently introduced an interesting discard-analysis tool.

I've won 54.21% of 4,400 games:
Average hand score 8.0
Average crib score 4.7
Average pegging score 3.2
I don't know if these are my averages scores or the averages of all play.

The program worships at The Temple of The Skunk: it credits me with 385 (from 2,386 wins). It doesn't recognise Double-Skunks (known to me as The Lurch); these are very infrequent -- I don't believe that I've scored or suffered more than a couple.

I'm surprised that (so far) I'm a clear winner: IMHO the program should be very much better than me at selecting hands and discards, whether by calculation or by using look-up tables. A skilful human might (just) be craftier at pegging than a program but, again, calculation and look-ups should give the program an advantage. The pegging is a (numerically) minor part of the game, anyway, as the average scores show.

Great Story

Sounds like Dad had it (almost) spot on. You can however; peg out by cutting a Jack. There are dozens of free programs and free websites out there. You can play tournaments, heads up, accumulate points etc. The two associated with the ACC are and Both offer free play. Normally you play against humans, but on ecribbage you can play against the computer. gamecolony also allows wagering as the more skilled player normally will win. I do have to disagree with you regarding pegging though. A skilled player will peg 26-33 points in a game (which is more than you typically have in the crib/box). It is a MAJOR part of the game and separates the men from the boys in the cribbage world. The very best cribbage players in the world typically win 65-70% of their games when they have first deal, and about 45-50% when they do not have first deal. Check out for information about rules, clubs, tournaments and more. Canadians and even some Europeans are starting to join. Keep pegging