Questions and Answers

Many people have emailed requesting how to interpret rules and why was a rule they use is not on my page. The only answer to that is you need to understand the multitude of variations of cribbage that exist. The ACC adopted a standard set of rules to ease conflicts that were happening at the tournaments. What you might not see on the page could be a variation that was not adopted as part of the standardization. Most all of the questions I have received have been what I would term a "regional" variation of the rules.

Below are a series of questions that have been email to me and a brief answer. I cannot claim to know everything so please feel free to email me and let me know what you think. I do enjoy corresponding with all cribbage enthusiasts.

(Q) If I am dealer and have only one or two points remaining to win the game, and I cut His Nibs, can I then win the game on that cut. I have heard the two-point His Nibs rule does not apply when it would cause the Dealer to win the game.
(Q) My father taught me that his Knobs / Knibs only counts in your hand, not in the crib !!

(A) Knobs counts in both your hand and your crib, 1 point for getting either. Knibs counts as 2 points because it amounts to a right jack in BOTH your hand and crib. You can win a game in tournament cribbage by cutting a Jack.

(Q) If I receive a "GO", are there any rules governing my play. For example, say the play has reached 25 and I am given a "GO", and I have a five and a four. Can I save the five and play the four, or am I obligated to get as close to 31 as I can?

(A) You are not obligated to get as close to 31 as you can. It is up to your discretion whether you play the 4 or the 5. I.E. play the 4 if you think your opponent will lead a 10 next round, or play the 5 to avoid a "5 trap" and limit your opponent's pegging. You are only required to play any card in your hand that can be played without the count going over 31. In tournament play you can be assessed a 2 point penalty for EACH card in your hand that could have been INDIVIDUALLY played below a 31. In your example, if you said "GO" you would be penalized 4 points for having the 4 and 5 in your hand because either one was playable.

(Q) If a person plays the "Last Card" and it totals 31...does he get the two points for the 31 AND the 1 point for "Last Card"?

(A) No, a 31 for two is actually a 31 for 1 and a point for the "GO", it has been shortened in the 400 years of cribbage to just be a 31 for 2. Since you are not allowed to score both a "GO" and a "LAST CARD" you are only awarded 2 points for a "Last Card" 31.

(Q) On the rules page (Cribbage) you mention that a non-scoring hand is called a nineteen, "Because it is impossible to obtain this number regardless of the card combinations, it is the term for a useless hand." Perhaps I am missing something here (I myself play Cribbage), but why is it not possible to score 19 points? This really has nothing to do with the page, I am just curious as to the origin of "19."
(Q) As a large cribbage enthusiast, I visited your web site looking for some information on the scoring possibilities of different hands. Wondering if you could answer a question. What are the card combinations that will result in scoring a 25, 26, or 27, in two handed cribbage?

(A) There are 4 hands below the maximum of 29 points, 19, 25, 26, and 27, that are impossible to score with a correct deck of cards. A useless hand has become a 19 via the tradition of confusing a new cribbage player by announcing a "19" when there is obviously nothing there.

(Q) If a player(A) under counts and the player(B) catches the mistake, player(B) can peg what player(A) did not.

(A) Muggins is a rule used occasionally in tournament play where the opponent can "Mugg" the other player for points missed.

(Q) If a Dealer asks for the Pone to cut the deck before dealing, the Dealer gets a peg or two.

(A) Not in tournament cribbage, the ACC requires that a cut occur before every deal.

(Q) What are the skunk and stink holes.

(A) The Skunk hole is hole 90 or 31 from the end. The Stink hole is hole 120 or 1 from the end.

(Q) I am checking on the flush rule. I have always played that you could have 3 of one suit in your hand (but not the crib) and complete the flush with the up card for four, but the rules seem to say that you have to have all four cards in the hand. Is that correct?

(A) It is required that you have all 4 cards in your hand be the same suit to score a hand flush for 4, if the starter card happens to match then you are awarded an extra point. In the crib ALL 5 cards, crib and starter, MUST be the same suit to get the flush points.

(Q) I've always been uncertain what goes in counting runs during play. Do the cards have to be in exact sequence like 4-5-6. Or can the order of play be 5-4-6? Then, what if it's 5-4-6-3? Or 5-4-6-5?

(A) The run of cards can be in any order, ASSUMING the first card in your example is played by the pone, as you have them above 5-4-6-3 is a run of 3 for the pone and a run of 4 for the dealer. 5-4-6-5 is a run of 3 for both the pone and then the dealer.
Just for fun, 3-2-4-5-A-6-3-2, would be a run of 3 for the pone, a run of 4 for the dealer, a run of 5 and a 15 for the pone, a run of 6 for the dealer, a run of 6 for the pone, a run of 6 and the last card for the dealer.
3-2-4-5-A-6-2-3, would be a run of 3 for the pone, a run of 4 for the dealer, a run of 5 and a 15 for the pone, a run of 6 for the dealer, nothing for the pone, and a run of 6 and the last card for the dealer.

(Q) I learned you cannot win the game on a go. Does this also mean that if you have a combination like fifteen for two and a go for last card you cannot win? Or what about 31?

(A) This is a regional variation that I have heard about before. We don't have a rule that says you can't win a game by pegging, scoring a go or last card or by cutting a Jack. We don't put that kind of a limit on the game. The ACC must have believed that a way to score a point the rest of the game should still apply at the end of the game. I was raised with the idea that anyway to legally score a point at the end of the game counts.

Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have. I do enjoy corresponding with all cribbage enthusiasts.

Rules of Cribbage page
Counting your Cribbage hand
Teaching Cribbage to Kids page
Playing with more than two players page
Rules at ACC Tournaments page
Pegging to Win page
Muggins explanation page
Odd Hands page
Germantown Peggers Home Page