The rules for playing cribbage with Partners are generally the same as those for two player cribbage, with a few exceptions. The game can be played by 4 to 6 players, with each player having at least one other person as their assigned partner. Partners are seated opposite each other around the playing table. Each player counts their points individually, but combine their points with those of their partners by pegging on the same track of the Cribbage Board. Five cards are dealt to each player instead of the usual 6 cards. Each player discards only one card from their hand to the Crib pile. The player to the left of the Dealer cuts the deck for the Start card. After a hand is played, the deal and possession of the Crib goes to the next player to the left. The game proceeds in this manner until one of the Partner groups pegs at least 121 points.
Three Person Cribbage
The rules for three player cribbage are generally the same as those for two player cribbage, with a few exceptions. The Cribbage Board should have at least three tracks. Five cards are dealt to each player instead of the usual 6 cards. After the last card is dealt, the Dealer deals one card, face down, to start the crib pile. Each player discards only one card from their hand to the Crib pile. The player to the left of the Dealer cuts the deck for the Start card. After a hand is played, the deal and possession of the Crib goes to the next player to the left. The game proceeds in this manner until one of the players pegs at least 121 points.
Card Combinations and Points Scoring
Pegging "Points" is done by getting various card combinations. There are three separate times to peg points during each hand of cards dealt. They are during Play, counting Hand, and counting Crib.
Two Person Cribbage Play and Terms:
Cut for Deal: Each player cuts a card from the shuffled deck to determine who starts the game as Dealer. Low card wins. In case of a tie, the deck is shuffled and each player cuts again.
Deal: The Dealer alternately deals 6 cards to each player. The Dealer then places the remaining deck of cards face down on their side of the table.
Discard to Crib: Each player assesses the cards they have been dealt and tries to determine the possible points they may later count during and after play. (Card combinations and their assigned points are in a table below.) Each player discards 2 of the 6 cards in their hand that least fit the possible combinations. These cards are placed face down on the Dealer's side of the table. This pile is called the "Crib". "Starter" or "Cut Card".
Cut: After the Dealer has dealt the cards and each player has discarded 2 cards, the non-dealer cuts the remaining deck and the Dealer turns over the top card. This is the "Start Card" and is not used during the play of the hands. If a "Jack" is turned up, the Dealer announces "Knobs" and pegs 2 points.
Play Hands or "Pegging": During play each player, starting with the non-dealer, takes turns laying one card on the table, face up in front of them self. As each card is played the player announces the running total of cards played, up to 31. If any of the card combinations is achieved, as shown in the following table, they announce the name of the card combination and it's assigned points. As points are achieved they are pegged on the Cribbage Board by removing the rear peg in their track, counting the proper number of holes ahead of their front peg, and placing it in the hole. Pegging in this manner allows each player to easily keep track of their and other player's points. If a player can not play a card in their hand without going over 31, they then announce "Go" and play goes to the next player. If none of the players can play then the last person to play a card pegs 1 point. The count returns to zero and play resumes with the next player. Likewise if a player reaches exactly 31, they peg 2 points, the count returns to zero and play resumes with the next player. This continues until all cards in each players hands have been played. The last player to play a card pegs 1 point for "Last Card".
Counting Hands: Each player counts the points in their hand starting with the non-Dealer, then the Dealer. All the possible card combinations in a players hand, including the Start card, are added together then pegged on the Cribbage Board. When counting your hand, it is considered proper etiquette to lay your cards face up and announce the name of each combination along with the assigned points, adding to the running total of the hand.
Counting Dealer's Crib: At this time the Dealer's Crib, which has remained face down, is turned over. The points in the Crib are counted in the same manner as the previously counted Hands. These points are the Dealers to peg.
To Win: If neither player has pegged 121 points or more to win the game, then the role of dealer goes to the other player. The deck is again shuffled, dealt, and play continues until one of the players pegs 121 points to wins the game.
Pegging Games Won: On most Cribbage Boards there is a set of holes, separate from the players track holes, that are used for keeping track of the games each player wins during a set of multiple games. The first player to win 5 games wins the set. If one player pegs 121 points before the other player pegs 90, it is considered a "Skunk", which is counted as having won 2 games. Likewise if one player pegs 121 points before the other player pegs 60, it is considered a "Double Skunk", which is counted as having won 3 games. Some Cribbage Boards have indicators at the 60 and 90 point holes to signify a double and single Skunk.
Cribbage Playing Instructions
It is believed that cribbage was first played in England around 1632 by it's inventor Sir John Suckling. In Cribbage the object of the game is to peg or count 121 points before your opponent does. This can be done by keeping score on a sheet of paper, but the more traditional method is to use a "Cribbage Board" that has 121 holes for each player. As the game is played, each player counts the points they score and moves their "Pegs" along the track of holes. This is referred to as "Pegging". The first player to reach the end hole is the winner of that game. A standard deck with 52 cards is used and is ranked as follows: (<<<) King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, Ace (>>>) Card's counting values are: 10 for King thru 10, the actual face values for 9 thru 2, and one for Ace.