4 Of A Kind In Cribbage

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Game rules

Cribbage is an Anglo-Saxon and Canadian game played with a 52 cards deck, which mixes chance and strategy during two different game phases. Classic cribbage is played with two players face to face, but it can also be played with 4 players in teams of 2 (parthnership cribbage). Playroom also allows games with 3, 4, 5 or 6 players, in teams or not. Rules described right below concern the two players game; the minor modifications needed for a game with more players follow further down.

The winner of the game is the first to reach a defined score, by default 121 points. Games in 61, 91 or 241 points are also common for shorter or longer sessions.

Historically,the cribe is played with a board with 120 small wholes, allowing small tokens to be put into them. This permitted to mark the score of the players. Traditionnally, the first who go out of the boart, by marking his 121st point, wins and immediately stops the game without waiting for the end of the round.


The dealer deals 6 cards to each player one by one, then everyone discard two cards ammong the 6. The four cards thus discard by both players together makes the aside called cribe. The later stays conciled up to the second phase of the game, in which the points contained in it will be given to the dealer.

additionnally to dealed cards, a supplementary card is turned up visible after the cribe is composed. This card is common to all players and can be used by everyone to make combinations in the second phase of the game. IF this starting card is a jack, the dealer immediately gets two bonus points.

It isn't rare at all for the dealer to put interesting cards into the cribe, knowing that it will belong to him, while the other player will try as much as possible to discard uninteresting cards for the dealer.

Play phase

The first phase of the game might remember you ninety nine. IN turn, each player playes a card of his choice, and each card put on the table counts for a cumulative total of points. For example, if Alice plays a jack, and if Bob continues with a 7, the cmulative total will be 17. Then, if Alice keeps going with an 8, the total becomes 25, and so on.

At your turn, if you aren't able to play a card without making the total exceed 31, your turn is skipped. IF nobody can play any longer, the player who played the last card mark a point, the cumulative total is reset to 0, and the player who follows starts a new round of play until a new total of 31. This phase ends when everybody has played all his cards.

If, when playing a card, the total of 31 is exactly reached,two points are marked instead of only one. It isn't rare to play twice in a row, or to have still cards to play when the opponent has already played everything.

During this first phase of the game, you can also mark points by different means depending on the cards you play :

  • Bring the cumulative total to exactly 15 gives 2 points
  • Form a pair of two equally ranked cards give 2 points.For example, if the latest card played is a 7, you can make a pair by playing another 7. Be careful to the fact that, even if all figures count for 10 points, two different ones, e.g. a kind and a queen, don't make a pair.
  • Make three or four of a kind in the same way respectively gives 6 and 12 points
  • Make a run of three or more cards give as many points as there are cards in the sequence. IT hasn't to be in order, but there shouldn't any intervening card outside the run, nor any duplication. For example, if a 5 and a 4 are already on the table in this order, you can make a run of three cards and thus mark 3 points by playing a 6. By the way, you also get 2 points in this case, because 4+5+6 gives 15. If your opponent then plays another 6, he marks 2 points for making a pair of sixes, but no point for any run because 5 4 6 6 no longer form a run.

Cards from 2 to 10 are worth their face value, figures all count for 10, and aces for 1 (not 11).

Scoring phase

For the second phase of the game, each player take back the cards he had in his hand and try to make combinations to get more points. The cribe is given to the dealer and is counted exactly like all other hands. The visible card drawn at the beginning of the game is common to everybody, and can be used as part of combinations in players' hand and in the cribe.

The following combinations give points:

  • The jack of the same suit as the starting card give one point
  • A set of cards which add up to 15 give 2 points. As before, figures count for 10 and aces for 1.
  • A pair of cards of the same rank give 2 points
  • A three of a kind gives 6 points. In fact, you should see that you can make two distinct pairs with your three cards, for a total of 6 points.
  • A four of a kind gives 12 points. Here again, you should notice that it is possible to make 6 distinct pairs by taking each time two cards ammong the four.
  • A run of three or more cards give as many points as there are cards in the sequence. In contrary to pairs, while it is possible to make two distinct runs of three cards with a run of four cards, the later is worth 4 points and not 6.
  • Having all 4 cards of the same suit gives 4 points. If the common card is again of the same suit, it's 5 points. Be careful, having three cards out of four plus the common card all of the same suit does not give 4 points.

The main suptlety of cribbage scoring, what makes also of course all its interests, is that a card can be part of multiple combinations at the same time without any limit. Lobstermania 2 download. For example, the hand 4 of club, 5 of spade, 6 of diamond, jack of heart with the common card 4 of heart gives a total of 15 points:

  • We can make two distinct runs of three cards: 4 of heart, 5 of spade, 6 of diamond is a first run, while 4 of club, 5 of spade, 6 of diamond makes another one. This already gives 3+3=6 points.
  • There is a pair of 4 for 2 points
  • The jack together with the 5 add up to 15, what gives 2 points
  • 4+5+6 gives 15, and there are two ways to obtain 15, once with the 4 of heart and once with the 4 of club, what gives another 4 points
  • The jack is of the same suit as the 4 (the common card), what gives finally another last point

As scoring is one of the main and most intricate parts of cribbage, it isn't automatically done on the playroom. You must count your points yourself !


A very important rule in cribbage says that all points you miss or count too much , are given to your opponent! Thus, if, for the preceeding example, you miss the two ways of doing 4+5+6=15 for 4 points, and therefore said that your hand had a value of 11 points instead of 15, the 4 points you have forgotten are given to your opponent. Be very careful when scoring, so that you don't offer any easy point to other players.

The best possible cribbage hand is 5, 5, 5, jack, with the common card being the last 5 of the same suit as the jack, for a total of 29 points. We count as follows:

  • Four 5 for 12 points
  • 4 ways of adding up to 15 by taking the jack and a 5 for 8 points
  • 4 ways of making 15 by taking three out of the four fives for 8 points
  • The jack of the same suit as the common card for one point

By the way, there isn't any hand totalizing 19 points. Some experienced players like joking with this, saying 19 when they have in fact hands that aren't worth any point.

Cribbage for 3, 4, 5 or 6 players, and cribbage in teams

The game with 3, 4, 5 or 6 players is globally played the same way as the standard face to face game, except minor differences that occur mostly in the deal:

  • Only one card is discarded to the cribe. We only discard two cards when playing with two players.
  • With 3, 4 or 5 players, 5 cards are dealt instead of 6.
  • With 5 and 6 players, the dealer receive one card less and don't discard any card to the cribe
  • With 3 players, one more card is drawn from the deck and put into the cribe, so that it has 4 cards as usual.
  • With 6 players, all hands as well as the cribe have 5 cards instead of 4 (or 6 instead of 5 if we count the common card). The best possible hand in that setting is 39 points.

There is no special rules for playing in teams, except that, of course, scores are counted together, and as in all card games played in teams, teammates aren't supposed to speak in any way about the cards they have in their hands. Players have to be layed out on the table so that each team is alternatively owner of the cribe.

Cribbage with time limit

It is possible to fix a maximum thinking time allowed to sum up your hand during the scoring phase. This time can range from 15 to 90 seconds. If the time expires before you indicated the score of your hand, then half of your points rounded down are given to your opponents.

This option is strongly discouraged for beginners. It gives a bit of adrenaline and add pressure to the game, but increase the risk of making errors due to stress. Better is first to learn how to count right than how to count fast.

Keyboard shortcuts summary

  • C: during play phase, give the cumulative total between 0 and 31; during scoring pass, give the hand currently scored (your hand, the one of another player, or the cribe)
  • B: say who owns the cribe
  • F: say what is the starting card (common card)
  • V: see card currently on the table (during play phase only)
  • S: say scores
  • T: say whose turn it is

This page is for those who already know how to play cribbage, are pretty good at it, and want a little more challenge.

For more information about cribbage contact the American Cribbage Congress.

How many points in the whole deck?

If you had all 52 cards in your hand, how many points would you have?

4 Of A Kind In Cribbage


These are all variations I have tried and have found fun. Some variations I've tried didn't work out so well, but that doesn't stop us. For a year or so I played cribbage with Zach Blagg using the stipulation that the dealer makes the rules and here are some of the things we've tried.

Use the Jokers.

This is one of our best innovations. A joker counts as a zero. It can be used in runs of 0-1-2. It doubles the value of all the fifteens in a hand because it can be added into any fifteen combination and it's still fifteen (e.g. a 7,8 is 15, so is a 7,8,0). Two jokers multiply by 4, but two jokers in a hand cuts down on the number of fifteens that can be made with the remaining cards.


Whoever gets to 60 points first loses. Game lasts too long if to 120 points.

Use two cut cards.

This gives an extra card to make bigger hands. Before putting cards in the crib, the deck is cut and a card turned up. Then the crib is made and another card cut. Both cards count in both the hand and the crib.

Use other than 121 game points.

121 points is fine for regular cribbage, but it's too many if playing lowball, not enough if playing with more than 6 cards. If we play with 7 or 8 card hands, we go for 241 points, 361 if playing with 9 cards.

What Is 4 Of A Kind In Cribbage Worth

Use a double deck and bigger hands.

Other interesting runs and combinations are available. It's fun to get a double triple (26 pts) or a triple triple (39 pts), or 5 of a kind (20 pts) but bigger combinations are available. Typically we'll deal out eight cards apiece, put two in the crib, and have two cut cards, so we're playing with eight card hands. We tried more, but counting all the points almost takes the fun out of it - it can take too long - too many combinations, especially in fifteens. We usually go twice around (241 pts).

It's my suggestion that if you go to bigger hand, bump it up one card at at time until you get used to counting it. If you start right out playing with nine cards, it's likely to overwhelm you.

It's never happened to me, but if playing with nine cards if one of us got five 5s and four 0s, the game could be over in one hand. The fifteens would be 320, plus 20 for the 5 of a kind and 12 for the 4 of a kind for a total of 352 points. Pegging nine points could put one over 361, which we normally play to with nine cards. With four 0's in the hand, if one received a go, pegging 9 might not be that hard. Another possibility would be eight 5s and a joker -336 for the fifteens and 56 for eight of a kind for a total of 392 points!

go to Counting Helps

Play Draw cribbage

Before putting two cards in the crib, each player has the option of throwing away as many cards in their hand as they want (but they must keep one) and drawing new ones to replace them. After making the crib, each player can again throw away cards and draw new ones. Then playing starts.

I think this variation works best if playing with at least seven cards.

How Many Pounds Is 4 Of A Kind In Cribbage

Choose a cut card.

Each player takes a card out of his hand and places it face down for the opponent. After both cards are placed, they are turned over, and the card your opponent gave you is your cut card. You likely will each have a different cut card.

Variations that we tried but don't use

Combinations other than 15, e.g. 16 gets two points. However, it seems that 15 works pretty well and we ended up going back to 15.

Pegging for other than 31, but 31 seems to work pretty well and we ended up going back to it.

Two cribs. Each player has a crib and whoever has the MOST points at the end wins, not who goes out first. You could end with a tie. We just didn't like it as well, I don't know why.

Bigger cribs.

We tried having cribs equal in size to the hand, but we found with bigger hands it made too much of a difference, so we went back to four cards in the crib.

Bid cribbage

Bid for the crib. Whoever wins the bid, gets the crib minus the bid amount, or they get the whole crib if they didn't bid more than what was in it. If they did bid more than what was in it, either they go back (get set) by the amount bid, or the opponent gets it. The crib is such a small part of the total points that it doesn't pay to mess with it. It makes the game last too long.

Wild cards.

What Does 4 Of A Kind Count In Cribbage

We tried wild cards and found that making the king wild seemed to be the best alternative. However, when we switched to a double deck, we didn't have a need to make things wild anymore.