5 Tips to Help You Play Cribbage

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Do you think winning Cribbage games is pure luck? Indeed, there must be some skill involved, right?  Even the best Cribbage players can end up losing the game to the players who are having a good run of luck.

You certainly should not bet your life savings on your next Cribbage game, but if you were to bet, you should know that the player who knows some strategy for playing Cribbage has the ultimate advantage.

The game of Cribbage has seen all sorts of players: the ones who have been pegging for years and those who have never given it much thought. If you’re in the latter category, you can learn the basic rules for playing Cribbage in a matter of minutes.

But even going through a complete guide to playing Cribbage does not guarantee a win. To help you improve your skills and odds of winning, here are some Cribbage playing secrets that you can easily apply.

Five Helpful Tips to Win Cribbage

Whether you are playing Cribbage with two players or more, remember these tricks of playing Cribbage to improve your chances of winning.

Deal First

Beginners often do not realize the benefit of dealing first. Anyone dealing first wins six of ten Cribbage games they play.

There is a custom of cutting the low Cribbage card, where Ace is the lowest. It helps in determining who will deal first. After that, the dealing change is alternated. Sometimes, Ace is considered the highest, and the high card is cut to find the dealer. Either way, the outcome will be the same.

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If you are the one who is going for the cut in the first round, it’s better to inform whether you will cut a high or low card. A player dealing first in the Cribbage is at an advantage even before the game is started.

This advantage becomes very important in a match involving multiple games of Cribbage, like the best of three. If you want to win the game of Cribbage, you must never pass the chance to deal.

Properly Count Your Hand

In the Cribbage game, if you ever miss counting your points, they are gone. There is no second chance. This strategy has been formed as a matter of education, so players develop a better understanding and recognition of their hands during the game.

You must accurately count all the possible outcomes with the cards in your hand to avoid missing count. People who are into playing online Cribbage games don’t have to worry about counting as the computer does it for them. But still, it’s the responsibility of players to count and tally points accurately.

In fact, in some regions, muggins is permissible. In this situation, the overlooked points are taken away by the opponents. For instance, if you declare four points and forget to take a moment, your opponent can steal that overlooked point.

So you see, the counting aspect of the game is extremely important as it can make or break your chances of winning.

Throw Five in the Crib

One of the essential rules of playing Cribbage is throwing 5 in your crib to gain a couple of extra points. It could add four or more points to your score. The basis of this tip is the rule that no hand with a five should score less than 2 points.

So, if you have a five in your hand and you are not sure what to do, it’s better to throw it in the crib. If there is a situation where you can either throw the points in your opponent’s crib or keep it, you must have a solid scoring hand to justify your actions.

Be Careful When the Opponent Leads You

Whenever your opponent tries to lead you, that means they are trying to set up a run of three cards. It’s often seen in situations when the opponent leads by 8 with the hope that you will play 15. If this happens, they get an opportunity to bring in 6 or 9 for a run.

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If there is a situation where you get two points for 15, and your opponent gets 3 points for running, you will need to fight to break even. Many players decide to play around a couple of points to take away their opponent’s striking power to break even.

Play Conservative

When beginners go through guides about playing Cribbage for dummies, they are often fired up to win big. It’s fundamental nature to want more and aim to have a massive hand for specific turns of cards even at the cost of several points. But not many players like to break better cards in the hope of having a giant hand.

Cribbage seems fun, but if you want to play smart, you must adopt the conservative play strategy. It offers more control of the board. It also protects you from damaging situations and provides better game opportunities.


Now that you know the ins and outs of the simple rules for playing Cribbage, it’s time to play. But you don’t need to visit a friend with a pack of cards to enjoy the game. Playing Cribbage 1 person is easy and fun at the best free Cribbage website, cribbage game online.