Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been playing cribbage for a greater portion of my lifetime, and until recently I haven't really played any games where the rules and customs varied much from what I was taught by my grandfather. Every online reference I've read, and electronic version of the game, has generally agreed with my understanding of how cribbage is played and scored.

So, it was a strange moment when I was playing against an uncle from the other side of my family and found that he expected the scoring of "his nobs" and "his heels" to be opposite of what I'd learned.

By common rules, "his nobs" refers to when any player holds a Jack in his hand which has the same suit as the starter card. "His heels" is awarded to the dealer when the starter card itself is a Jack. Both my uncle and I agree on this. What we disagree on is the value of each. I (and, it seems, most of the rest of the world's cribbage players) understand "his nobs" to be valued at one point, and "his heels" at two - my uncle believes the reverse.

I imagine he's probably been playing cribbage for longer than I've been alive, so this has me wondering: Is this a common variant in cribbage rules? Are there others like this?

share|improve this question

This is not a common variation that I have heard of, and research on multiple cribbage sources seems to agree that Knobs (starter hand jacks) are always 1 point and heels (or flipped/dealer jacks) are 2 points.

This may very well be a case of a small player group misunderstanding or altering the rules. Rules for games like cribbage can often be changed in the same way that playing a game of "telephone" or telling a story by word-of mouth can change the original wording in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.

share|improve this answer
My family has a cribbage board where the track is the shape of the numbers "2,9". Guess they'd have to get a "30" to play with this variant! – The Chaz 2.0 Jun 20 '12 at 16:23

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.