Learn how to play cribbage at library

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2013

As I get older, many events from my youth are fading from memory. But one thing I do recall is learning to play cribbage. I think it’s because my first real girlfriend taught me when we were just 13 years old. We were hanging out in her dad’s old pop up camper one rainy day after school when she took out a board and cards. I had no idea what cribbage was, but since I wanted to impress my girlfriend, I was ready to learn. She was a pretty good teacher, but I didn’t quite get all the nuances of the game before her father called out, “Lisa! Time to come in.” I knew better than to argue with Mr. Griffin.

What is cribbage? It is one of the oldest and most popular card games in the world. Its rules have not changed much in 400 years. Cribbage developed from a game called “noddy” which also used a special board for scoring. It is most often played by two players, but there are variations for three and four as well.

I prefer two-player Cribbage because the potential for more points in each hand is greater. The mechanics of the game are pretty easy but strategy takes time to learn. In two-player Cribbage, each person is dealt six cards. Both players get rid of two cards into what is called the crib. The crib is like an extra hand for the dealer. It takes experience and trial and error to learn what kinds of cards to throw away and what to keep. After the crib is set, then the deck is cut and the dealer pulls a card out, called the starter. This will be used in scoring, which comes after the play.

In “play” the cards are played one at a time with the object of trying to reach the total of 31. Each card has a certain value. Face cards are worth 10, Aces worth 1, and the rest worth their face value. Points can be accrued during play by making totals of 15, or creating runs or pairs, or when the total value of cards played equals 31. These points are taken on the board by “pegging.” Most points come during “show,” however.

“Show” means that each player’s cards are revealed or “shown” and the points announced. There are several ways to earn points in cribbage but the main ones are by having card combinations that total 15, making runs of three or more or by having pairs or triplets. You will likely hear a cribbage player say “15 for 2,” which means the two cards equal 15 and thus are worth two points. The best possible hand (which I’ve never been dealt) is worth 29 points!

If you’d like to know how to get 29 points, plan to attend the Cribbage Club meeting at the Mount Pleasant library on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 2:30 pm. I’ll bring the board and cards.

Library programs

Giving Thanks to Our Veterans in November (all ages)

Nov. 1-30

In support of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, the library will collect the following items for donation to the center: ground coffee, CARTA one-day bus passes, nail clippers, reading glasses and more. Pick up a list of desired items at the Information Desk, or email MtpReference@ccpl.org.

STAR Therapy Dogs (all ages)

Saturday, Nov. 16 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Make a furry friend and read a book with your new pal.

Native American Myths and Legends (all ages)

Saturday, Nov. 16 at 4 p.m.

Storyteller Hawk Hurst tells a variety of Native American Stories

Monday Book Discussion (adults)

Monday, Nov. 18 from 10:30-11:30 a.m.

“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides

Brown Bag it with Dr. Erikka Curia (adults)

Monday, Nov. 18 from 12-1 p.m.

Join Dr. Erikka for an insightful hour about how your diet impacts your health.

Friday War Movie Classics (adults)

Fridays, Nov. 15 and 22 at 2 p.m.

Nov. 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” (1967). Rated PG; 149 minutes.

Nov. 22 – “Forrest Gump” (1994). Rated PG-13; 137 minutes.

NaNoWriMo Write Ins (all ages)

Monday, Nov. 18 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Monday, Nov. 25 from 5:30-7 p.m.

Participate in National Writing Month by joining fellow writers at one of these write ins.

JFK Assassination: 50 Years Later, What Do We Know?

Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Join Susan Sloate, author of Forward to Camelot: 50th Anniversary Edition to find out why the Kennedy assassination still matters.


Time for Twos (ages 24 – 36 months with caregiver)

Mount Pleasant Regional Library

Tuesdays, Nov. 19 and 26 at 10:30 a.m.

Preschool (ages 3 – 5 years with caregiver)

Mount Pleasant Regional Library

Mondays, Nov. 18 and 25 at 3:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 21 at 11:30 a.m.

Visit us in person, at mtplibrary.blogspot.com and at ccpl.org.

Mike Nelson is a reference librarian at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road. He can be reached at nelsonm@ccpl.org or 849-6161.

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