Playing Cribbage with More Than Two People

I know about several variations of cribbage that allow more than two people to play. The ACC generally only has tournaments for Singles play, and occasional Doubles tournaments. However, people everywhere have come up with ways of letting everyone in the family play simultaneously. I will walk through the start of each of the game variations and one hand. Again, this is not a complete or comprehensive coverage of every regional variation. I am just further describing other ways to play cribbage to help more people enjoy the game. E-mail from everyone with questions will only help me improve these pages.

Three Hand Cribbage

I can think of two main ways to play three handed cribbage, one is Cutthroat (everyone for themselves), and the other is Captain (a team of two against one). I will start with Cutthroat.


This variation is easier to play on a 3-track cribbage board.

To keep things simple let's identify the players centering on the dealer, the Dealer, Left Non-Dealer or LeftND, and Right Non-Dealer or RightND. In Cutthroat everyone pegs their own points.

Cutthroat starts with three players cutting the deck to see who deals first. Low card wins as always. Play will start to the Dealer's left and the deal will move that way as well. If you have a few ACC people playing, they will cut before the deal, made by the RightND, non-ACC people will probably skip this cut. The Dealer will then deal everyone five cards one to the crib at the end of the deal. Everyone discards one card to the crib and then the LeftND (the RightND if playing non-ACC style) cuts for the starter card.

The LeftND then plays the first card leading to the RightND for this hand. Player score as in two handed cribbage with points pegged for pairs, runs, 15's and 31's, and "GO's" and "Last Cards". The LeftND counts their hand first followed by the RightND and the Dealer then the crib. The LeftND becomes the Dealer and the next round begins. The winner is the first person to score 121 points.


Captain can be played on a 2-track cribbage board.

Captain is a variation that pits one person against two partners. The Captain begins the game in the 60th hole and is the game's first Dealer. The LeftND and RightND are a team for the entire game and will peg all their points in one track starting at the very beginning of the cribbage board. The Captain deals first in the same manner as in Cutthroat, and play also progresses in the same manner. The team must score 121 points before the Captain scores 61 to win the game. There are no restrictions to prevent the LeftND from trying to set up their teammate for easy peg points, but they may not let each other know what is in their respective hands.

Playing with more than two players Con't
Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have. I do enjoy corresponding with all cribbage enthusiasts.

Rules of Cribbage page
Common Questions about Cribbage
Counting your Cribbage hand
Teaching Cribbage to Kids page
Rules at ACC Tournaments page
Pegging to Win page
Muggins explanation page
Odd Hands page
Germantown Peggers Home Page