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Wood Cribbage Boards

Cribbage is a 2 person game with a curious history. Explore our unique handcrafted wood cribbage boards, compact travel cribbage boards, boards with a comparment to hold a deck of cards and even a hand painted, 20 inch lazy susan with cribbage running around it's perimeter. Want to learn how to play? Cribbage is easy to learn & I've included instructions to get you started at the bottom of the page. All our cribbage boards are handmade in the USA.

How to Play Cribbage

Six-card cribbage is the most common form played in the English-speaking world. Two players use a standard 52-card pack, with the cards ranking king high to ace low.

Setting Up Steps:

1. Place the cribbage board between the two players. Start pegs at the top of the cribbage board.

2. Win the game by being the first to score 121 points over a series of games.

3. Cut the cards to determine whom deals.

4. Shuffle and deal if you received the lower card.

5. Deal alternately six cards to yourself and six cards to your opponent.

6. Place two of the six cards face-down, both if you're the dealer and if you're the non-dealer, to form the crib. The dealer gets the crib and gets to score it after the hand is played.

7. Allow the non-dealer to cut the deck.

8. Turn the top card of the bottom half of the cut deck over to determine the start.

9. Move two holes with your peg if the start was a jack and you're the dealer.

10. Place the start with the crib to be counted at the end of the game.

Tips: Each player uses two pegs moving ahead of each other like footsteps, and both players start in the same place on the cribbage board.

Playing the Hands

Steps:

1. Play any card from your hand if you're the non-dealer. Call out the value of that card as you do so.

2. Play any card from your hand if you're the dealer. Call out the sum of the two cards as you do so.

3. Alternate playing cards until the sum of 31 is reached. Stop playing cards if adding your card would exceed the sum of 31.

4. Say "Go," and the other player must go on playing until he reaches 31 or until he cannot play a card making the sum less than 31.

5. Score one peg if you're the player coming closest to 31.

6. Score two pegs if you reach exactly 31.

7. Turn the cards you've played (both dealer and non-dealer do this) face-down in front of you after a "Go" or 31 has been reached.

8. Take turns playing in this way until all the cards in both players' hands are used up.

9. Score each hand. The non-dealer scores his discards first, then the dealer scores his hand followed by the crib.

10. Alternate the deal. The non-dealer of the first hand now shuffles the deck and starts a new hand.

The Colorful History of Cribbage

The game of cribbage has been beloved by men for centuries. Believed to have been invented, or at least codified, by British soldier and poet Sir John Suckling in the 17th century. It was brought to American shores by English settlers where it became quite popular in the colonies, especially in New England. Requiring only two players, it was readily adopted by sailors and fishermen as a way to wile away the time. Cribbage boards, which have either 61 or 121 holes, were crafted from a variety of materials and could be quite unique and elaborate in form and style. Eskimos would make cribbage boards out of walrus tusks to trade with the sailors and fishermen who made port near their villages.

Cribbage remained popular with mariners for hundreds of years, enjoying especially widespread play in the Navy during World War II. It was thought of as the unofficial game of submariners, who played round the clock as they patrolled for Japanese ships. The most famous incident related to cribbage in the Navy occurred in 1943 aboard one of the war's most celebrated submarines, the USS Wahoo. For the Wahoo's fourth war patrol, it was ordered to head to the extreme northern reaches of the Yellow Sea, an area where no sub had gone before. The waters near the Dairen Peninsula were shallow, and crewmembers grew nervous as they glided into dangerous territory. To take their minds off the tension, the sub's commander, Dudley "Mush" Morton and his executive officer, Richaed "Dick" O'Kane, began a game of cribbage. Morton dealt O'Kane a 'Perfect 29" hand --four fives and a jack-- the highest possible score for combinations in a single cribbage deal. Back-of-the-envelope calculations were done, and 216,000 to 1 were the odds thrown out as to the chances of that happening. The crew's spirits were bolstered by what they felt was a very lucky omen. O'Kane had his fellow officers sign the five cards and he framed them.