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How to Play Cribbage Solitaire: A Step by Step Guide

All solitaire games require a strategy to win. But in Cribbage Solitaire, you’ll need to be very tactical. While there are more winnable Cribbage Solitaire games, this version requires skill more than other versions of solitaire. If you’ve tried playing solitaire but haven’t won any game, you’ll find this variant interesting, possibly quite challenging. Read this guide to learn how to play Cribbage Solitaire.

About Cribbage Solitaire

It is an ancestor of the game known as Noddy, which was created by Sir John Suckling. Here, players show their discarding skills throughout the gameplay. Often, players use solitaire boards for keeping their scores. In Cribbage Solitaire, players should peg wisely to reduce errors when computing scores as we shall see later on.

This fast moving game can have 2 or 3 players. However, if you like, four players can also play as two pairs of partners. But, the original cribbage is traditionally played with only two players.

It uses a standard deck that has 52 cards ranking from King, Queen all the way down to Ace. When starting, each player will cut a card from the face down stack. This leaves 4 cards at the deck’s end. If players remove cards of a similar rank, they start the draw again. Players with a lower card start the deal, and then dealing can be alternated between players. The one who loses will be the first to deal when a new game is started.

The dealing player shuffles last then gives the non-dealing opponent the cards to cut. The person dealing gives six face-down cards to each player, who then evaluates their cards to decide which two cards to put in the crib. You should only be playing with 4 cards in your hand per round. Then they’ll lay away these 2 discarded cards per player together to form a crib that will eventually be for the dealer. Cards in a crib are only revealed or used once players have played with all the cards in their hands.

How to Play Cribbage Solitaire

Players should score as many points as they can via the deck. You score points after combining different cards. For instance, combining cards equal to 15 gives you 2 points, while pairs 3:4 of a kind earn you 2 points each: 6 points: 12 points. Nobs, when the jack in a player’s hand is of a similar suit to that of a flipped card, scores them one point. The first player to score 121 points or 61 points in some games is the winner.

After laying out the crib, the non-dealing player proceeds to cut the deck. The lower stacks top card is then turned up by a dealing player. This is a starter card. It’s referred to as “His Heels” if it’s a jack and earns the dealer 2 points. This card is only used to make several combinations that earn some points for players.

After turning the starter card, the non-dealing player places one card on the playing table face up. Then a dealer will expose their card, then back to the non-dealer, like that. Players expose hands using card after card alternately, but not for a “go” as we shall discuss later. You’ll keep your cards separated from your opponent’s card. After playing, each person announces the points reached after adding a card to those played with previously. For example, a non-dealing player starts with three and says “three” and a dealer beginning with nine shouts “twelve.” Jacks, Queens, and Kings are equal to 10, Ace equals one, and all other cards count as their face value.

The hand and crib are then removed, and flipped up cards are moved to the deck’s bottom. Players then make a new deal consisting of two cards and three cards, and they proceed playing as they were with the previous hand and crib. Six hands and crib leaves only four cards in a deck, which makes a player’s last hand. They then score with these four cards when the game ends. Then players will count hands in this order; non-dealer’s, delear’s and crib’s. Players should keep this order since a non-dealing player can “count out” and win even before the dealing one gets to count, although their points will be higher than those of their opponent. The starter card is counted as part of each hand, so all hands have five cards.

Cribbage Solitaire Rules

Aces are low in rank and have a value of 1, while face-up cards count 10. Players can’t carry the running cards’ total past 31. If one can’t add a card without going beyond 31, they say “go” forcing their opponent to peg 1. The opponent then lays down additional cards without going beyond 31. Apart from the “go” point he/she earns, they can score extra points they make through pairing and running. A player reaching 31 pegs two go instead of 1. The “go” player starts the next play with all players having zero counts. Players can’t combine leads with cards that have already earned scoring combinations since the sequence has been interrupted. The one playing last pegs one point go and an additional one if their value counts to 31. The dealing player can be certain to peg at least one point in all hands since he/she will have a go earlier or on the last card.

Pegging earns you points. You peg two if your card adds to 15. You also peg two for a card that is of a similar rank to the one that has just been played. Face-up cards only pair by their real rank with Jack and Jack. But Jack can’t pair with a Queen. Players peg six if they add a third card of a similar rank. Peg 12 is given to those who add a fourth card of a similar rank. You also peg a point for each added card of the sequence.

Cribbage Solitaire Strategies

If you are the dealer, salt the crib with the best cards while still retaining some good cards for your hand that will help you score highly. If you’re not dealing, lay out less beneficial cards for the dealer. Don’t lay a five as the dealer can use it to make a count of fifteen with cards that add up to ten, i.e., 10, J, Q, and K. Also, don’t lay out a pair or sequential cards E.g. putting a five and a 6 in the crib. You can lay out Ace and King as they are harder for your opponent to use them.

Additionally, try leading from a pair, as you can play the next matching card if your opponent makes a pair. Don’t lead an Ace or Deuce, instead save these cards to help you make a 15, 31, or a “go” later on. A safe lead is four as it can’t add to 15. Also, try not to make count 21 as your opponent can play with cards valued at ten and gain 31 points.


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