How to Score Big in Cribbage: Mastering the Art of Points

The Basics: Understanding the Game and Scoring System

Cribbage is a classic card game that has provided endless entertainment for generations. To truly excel at this beloved game, it’s crucial to have a firm grasp on its scoring system. In cribbage, players aim to score points by forming various combinations of cards and strategically discarding them into the designated “crib.” Let’s dive deeper into how you can maximize your scoring potential!

1. Counting Combinations: Pairs, Runs, and Fifteens

One fundamental aspect of cribbage scoring revolves around counting different combinations within your hand or the play area. Keeping an eye out for pairs (two cards with equal rank), runs (consecutive cards), and fifteens (cards totaling 15) can significantly boost your overall score.


Finding pairs in cribbage is like discovering hidden treasure! Each pair is worth two points, so spotting multiple pairs means extra points on your journey towards victory.


A run consists of three or more consecutive cards (e.g., 5-6-7). For each card involved in a run sequence, one point is awarded. Longer runs are even more valuable as they accumulate additional points!


Creating combinations that sum up to 15 grants two points per set of fifteen. Be mindful that these sets can include multiple cards – their face values simply need to add up precisely to fifteen.

2. The Crib Strategy: Utilizing Discards Wisely

The crib adds an exciting twist to cribbage gameplay – both players discard two unwanted cards into this special area before starting the main round. However, the discard process is not merely a way to dispose of unwanted cards. Instead, it presents an opportunity to strategically set up your hand and maximize your score.

Keeping High-Scoring Combinations:

When deciding which cards to retain for scoring purposes, aim for combinations that offer high point values. Holding on to pairs, runs, or fifteens can significantly increase your chances of achieving big scores during play.

Avoiding Card Combinations Beneficial to Opponents:

While optimizing your own score, be mindful of potential card combinations that could provide easy points for your opponent. Discarding cards that complete their pairs or allow them to form runs may minimize their opportunities while strengthening yours.

3. The Art of Pegging: Seizing Every Opportunity

Aside from counting combinations in hands and discards, cribbage also involves pegging – a scoring method based on card sequencing during gameplay. Utilizing effective strategies during this phase can give you an edge in accumulating additional points!

Capturing Fifteens During Play:

Similar to the fifteen combinations mentioned earlier, pegging offers opportunities for capturing fifteens as well. Keeping track of how subsequent plays add up will help you seize these valuable points whenever possible.

Taking Advantage of Go’s and Last Cards:

Being attentive towards reaching thirty-one (a “Go”) without going over allows you an extra point each time you achieve it during pegging. Additionally, playing the final card grants one point unless it directly leads to reaching thirty-one – then two points are awarded instead!

With these tips in mind, you’re now equipped with knowledge about various strategies used by seasoned cribbage players that can elevate both your skills and overall scores! Embrace the challenge presented by this exciting game and enjoy countless hours filled with thrilling victories!