There are a lot of web sites that give you cribbage rules. There are small variations here and there and even the "official" source reads ambiguously to me.

To narrow my question, let's talk about scoring rules after "the play / pegging", when the dealer and the pone score their respective hands and the crib.

Is there are precise summary of the scoring rules, that I can use as a reference? I would prefer the actual rules wording to examples. Examples are very useful for illustrating a rule, but they are not as good for defining rules.

Now, to the source of my confusion. In one source I read this:

Counting the Hands. When play ends, the three hands are counted <...> The basic scoring formations are as follows:

Combination Counts

Fifteen. Each combination of cards that totals 15 2

Pair. Each pair of cards of the same rank 2

Run. Each combination of three or more 1cards in sequence (for each card in the sequence)

Flush. Four cards of the same suit in hand 4 (excluding the crib, and the starter)

Four cards in hand or crib of the same 5 suit as the starter (There is no count for four-flush in the crib that isnot of same suit as the starter)

His Nobs. Jack of the same suit as starter in hand or crib 1

Combinations. In the above table, the word combination is used in the strict technical sense. Each and every combination of two cards that make a pair, of two or more cards that make 15, or of three or more cards that make a run, count separately.

The emphasis in the last paragraph is mine.

The source goes ahead and gives the following example:

Example: A hand (including the starter) comprised of 8, 7, 7, 6, 2 scores 8 points for four combinations that total 15: the 8 with one 7, and the 8 with the other 7; the 6, 2 with each of the two 7s. The same hand also scores 2 for a pair, and 6 for two runs of three (8, 7, 6 using each of the two 7s). The total score is 16. An experienced player computes the hand thus: "Fifteen 2, fifteen 4, fifteen 6, fifteen 8, and 8 for double run is 16."

This example makes perfect sense to me. Now following the same logic, let's assume we have 2, 2, 3, 4, 5. According to the "strict technical sense", I can see the following scoring combinations:

  • 2, 3, 4 x2
  • 2, 3, 4, 5 x2
  • 3, 4, 5
  • 2, 2

Which gives us 6 + 8 + 3 + 2 = 19

But everyone knows that 19 is impossible, and in the same source a little bit further we read:

D. A run of four, with one card duplicated, counts 10.

Now, I understand why. That's because only the longest 4 cards sequence counts. The two 3 card sequences it contains do not. So it's just 8 + 2. 6 and 3 do not count.

What I cannot find is an authoritative source that properly words this rule. Because as per rules as written in the source, my calculation would be correct. The American Cribbage Congress rules do not address this ambiguity at all, it looks like they are assuming, that everyone knows this anyway.

So can some one either sum up the actual hand scoring rules for me, or point me anywhere, where it's already done - clearly and unambiguously?

  • possible duplicate of Why does a run of 4 in Cribbage score only 4?
    – bwarner
    Jun 5, 2015 at 15:00
  • @bwarner I've actually read Adam Wuerl's detailed answer before posting my question, but I did not feel It answers it. It is an excellent and well-thought answer, but to a different question. There are just about 30 cribbage questions here and I think I went through all of them. Jun 5, 2015 at 21:14
  • @bwarner that question was about why, I was after something that I could use as an authoritative source for our own games. Jun 5, 2015 at 21:19

1 Answer 1


So I'v been googling like crazy last hour or so, and here is what I found. A person on BGG recommended pagat.com for comprehensive coverage of old public domain card games. Indeed there is an article there covering cribbage.

I'll cite the relevant part:

The Show

Players now retrieve the cards that they put down during the play and score for combinations of cards held in hand. First the non-dealer's hand is exposed, and scored. The start card also counts as part of the hand when scoring combinations. All valid scores from the following list are counted.

15: Any combination of cards adding up to 15 pips scores 2 points. For example king, jack, five, five would score 10 points altogether: 8 points for four fifteens, since the king and the jack can each be paired with either of the fives, plus 2 more points for the pair of fives. You would say "Fifteen two, fifteen four, fifteen six, fifteen eight and a pair makes ten".

Pair: A pair of cards of the same rank score 2 points. Three cards of the same rank contain 3 different pairs and thus score a total of 6 points for pair royal. Four of a kind contain 6 pairs and so score 12 points.

Run: Three cards of consecutive rank (irrespective of suit), such as ace-2-3, score 3 points for a run. A hand such as 6-7-7-8 contains two runs of 3 (as well as two fifteens and a pair) and so would score 12 altogether. A run of four cards, such as 9-10-J-Q scores 4 points (this is slightly illogical - you might expect it to score 6 because it contains two runs of 3, but it doesn't. The runs of 3 within it don't count - you just get 4), and a run of five cards scores 5.

Flush: If all four cards of the hand are the same suit, 4 points are scored for flush. If the start card is the same suit as well, the flush is worth 5 points. There is no score for having 3 hand cards and the start all the same suit. Note also that there is no score for flush during the play - it only counts in the show.

One For His Nob: If the hand contains the jack of the same suit as the start card, you peg One for his nob (sometimes known, especially in North America, as "one for his nobs" or "one for his nibs")..

While not entirely scientific, this is the most unambiguous description that I've come across so far, and it also acknowledges a feeling that I was getting that this particular rule is slightly illogical. Italic above is mine.

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