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BSG 2023 Cribbage


Sport Captain remarks

Sports Captain is Joann McKeown, email

Condo Sports Captains

Condo 1  – Teri Herbert, email

Condo 2  – Denise Casey, email

Condo 3  – Paul McIntyre, email

Condo 4  – Eva Adams, email

Condo 5  –  Georges Simard, email

Schedule = see BSG Calendar


Sport Rules

Ballantrae Summer Games Cribbage Rules

Number of Players

Cribbage is played by four people.  The opposite players are partners (team).


Tables will be assigned a number. Partners will stay together for the entire tournament. Winners will move up one numbered table. Losers remain at their table and will remain partners.  In this tournament, ten games or more will be played (if possible). Partners keep their own score card.  A win scores two points, a skunk scores three points and a loss scores zero points.  If there is a tie, the teams which are tied will have a playoff game.  

The Pack

The standard 52-card pack is used.

Rank of Cards

K (high), Q, J, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, A.

The Draw, Shuffle and Cut

From a shuffled pack face down, each player cuts a card, with the first person leaving at least four cards on the top of the pack and with the fourth person cutting leaving at least four cards at the end of the pack. The player with the lower card deals the first hand. If two players cut cards with the same low card, the two players draw again. Thereafter, the turn to deal moves clockwise.

The Deal

The dealer distributes five cards face down to each player.

Object of the Game

The goal is to be the first team to score 121 points. Players earn points during play and for making various card combinations.

The Crib

Each player looks at their five cards and “lays away” one of them face down to reduce the hand to four. The four cards laid away together constitute “the crib”. The crib belongs to the dealer, but these cards are not exposed or used until after the hands have been played.

Before the Play

After the crib is laid away, the player to the left of the dealer cuts the pack. The dealer turns up the top card of the lower packet and places it face up on top of the pack. This card is the “starter.” If the starter is a jack, it is called “His Heels,” and the dealer pegs (scores) 2 points at once. The starter is not used in the play phase of Cribbage but is used later for making card combinations that score points.

The Play

After the starter is turned, the player to the left of the dealer lays one of their cards face up on the table. The play moves clockwise.  The next player similarly exposes a card, then the third and fourth player, and so on – the hands are exposed card by card, alternately except for a “Go,” as noted below. Each player keeps their cards separate from those of their opponent.

As each person plays, they announce a running total of pips reached by the addition of the last card to all those previously played. The kings, queens and jacks count 10 each; every other card counts its pip value (the ace counts one).

The Go

During play, the running total of cards may never be carried beyond 31. If a player cannot add another card without exceeding 31, he or she says “Go” and player who played the last card and is closest to 31 pegs 1. If a player reaches exactly 31, he/she pegs two instead of one for Go.

The player who called the first Go leads for the next series of plays, with the count starting at zero. The lead may not be combined with any cards previously played to form a scoring combination; the Go has interrupted the sequence.

The person who plays the last card pegs one for Go, plus one extra if the card brings the count to exactly 31.


The object during play is to score points by pegging. In addition to a Go, a player may score for the following combinations:


For adding a card that makes the total 15

Peg 2


For adding a card of the same rank as the card just played

(Note that face cards pair only by actual rank: jack with jack, but not jack with queen.)

Peg 2


For adding the third card of the same rank.

Peg 6


For adding the fourth card of the same rank

Peg 12

Run (Sequence):

For adding a card that forms, with those just played:

For a sequence of three

For a sequence of four.

For a sequence of five.

Peg 3

Peg 4

Peg 5

Peg one point more for each extra card of a sequence. Note that runs are independent of suits but go strictly by rank; to illustrate: 9, 10, J, or J, 9, 10 is a run but 9, 10, Q is not.

It is important to keep track of the order in which cards are played to determine whether what looks like a sequence, or a run has been interrupted by a “foreign card.”

Example: Cards are played in this order: 8, 7, 7, 6. The player pegs 2 for 15, and the player pegs 2 for pair, but the next player cannot peg for run because of the extra seven (foreign card) that has been played.

Example: Cards are played in this order: 9, 6, 8, 7. The player pegs 2 for fifteen when he or she plays the six and the fourth player pegs 4 for run when he/she plays the seven (the 6, 7, 8, 9 sequence). The cards were not played in sequential order, but they form a true run with no foreign card.

Counting the Hands

When play ends, the four hands and the crib are counted in order: player to the left of the dealer (first), counting continues clockwise, dealer’s hand (fourth), and then the crib (fifth). This order is important because, toward the end of a game, a player may “count out” and win before the other players have a chance to count, even though the other players total would have exceeded that of the opponent. The starter is a part of each hand, so that all hands in counting comprise five cards. The basic scoring formations are as follows:

Combination Counts





Each combination of cards that totals 15



Each pair of cards of the same rank



Each combination of three or more cards in sequence

1 for each card in the sequence


Four cards of the same suit in hand

(excluding the crib and the starter)



Four cards in hand or crib of the same suit as the starter

(There is no count for four-flush in the crib that is not of same suit as the starter)



Jack of the same suit as starter in hand or crib



Each and every combination of two cards that make a pair, of two or more cards that make 15, or of three or more cards that make a run, count separately.

Example: A hand (including the starter) comprised of 8, 7, 7, 6, 2 scores 8 points for four combinations that total 15: the 8 with one 7, and the 8 with the other 7; the 6, 2 with each of the two 7s. The same hand also scores 2 for a pair, and 6 for two runs of three (8, 7, 6 using each of the two 7s). The total score is 16.

Note that the ace is always low and cannot form a sequence with a king. Further, a flush cannot happen during the play of the cards; it occurs only when the hands and the crib are counted.

Certain basic formulations should be learned to facilitate counting. For pairs and runs alone:

  • A triplet counts 6.
  • Four of a kind counts 12.
  • A run of three, with one card duplicated (double run) counts 8.
  • A run of four, with one card duplicated, counts 10.
  • A run of three, with one card triplicated (triple run), counts 15.
  • A run of three, with two different cards duplicated, counts 16.


The highest possible score for combinations in a single Cribbage deal is 29, and experts say that a 29 is probably as rare as a hole-in-one in golf. To make this score, a player must have a five as the starter (upcard) and the other three fives plus the jack of the same suit as the starter – Nobs: 1 point – in their hand. The double pair royal (four 5s) peg another 12 points; the various fives used to hit 15 can be done four ways for 8 points; and the jack plus a 5 to hit 15 can also be done four ways for 8 points.

Total = 29 points.

Muggins: This is optional and must be agreed upon before the game begins.  Each player must count his hand (and crib) aloud and announce the total. The players partner then gets the opportunity to count the hand to determine if points are missed. If the partners overlook any points, the opponent team may say “Muggins” and then score the overlooked points for himself/herself.


The play ends the moment a player reaches 121 whether by pegging or counting one’s hand.  Two points is scored for a win, zero for a loss and three points for a skunk. 

If the losing team fails to pass the three-quarter mark – 91 points or more, the losing team is ‘skunked”- and it is a “double skunk” (quadruple game) if the loser fails to pass the halfway mark (61 or more points).

The Cribbage Board

The Cribbage board has one continuous line of 121 holes for each player. There are usually has additional holes near one end, called “game holes.”  Four or six pegs come with the board in two contrasting colours.

Each time a player scores, they advance a peg along a row on their side of the board, counting one hole per point. Two pegs are used, and the rearmost peg jumps over the first peg to show the first increment in score. After another increase in score, the peg behind jumps over the peg in front to the appropriate hole to show the player’s new score.


The Crib. If the dealer team is discarding for the crib, they should “salt” it with the best possible cards, but at the same time retain good cards in their hand that can be used for high scoring. Conversely, for the non-dealer team, it is best to lay out cards that will be the least advantageous for the dealer team. Laying out a five would be the worst choice, for the dealer team could use it to make 15 with any one of the ten-cards (10, J, Q, K).

The Play. A five makes for the worst lead in that there are so many ten-cards that the opponent can use to make a 15. Leading an ace or deuce is not a good idea, for these cards should be saved until later to help make a 15, a Go, or a 31. The safest lead is a four because this card cannot be used to make a 15 at the opponent’s very next turn. Finally, when the opponent leads a card that can either be paired or make 15, the latter choice is preferred. During the play, it is advisable not to try to make a count of 21, for the opponent can then play one of the many 10-cards and make 31 to gain two points.