A Beginner’s Guide to the Game of Cribbage

OK, so maybe you’re like me and have never heard of the game of cribbage before, well, this very moment. Never fear! We will dive in and learn about this great card game together. We will also take a look at some gorgeous wood cribbage boards that you will want to scoop up so you can play cribbage with your friends and family!

What Is Cribbage?

United Kingdom Cribbage Board

Cribbage (also known as “crib”) is a card game typically for two people, but sometimes three or four, and involves pegs and a special cribbage board. The object is to form counting combinations, which are scored by moving the pegs around the board. Throughout its history, only a few changes have been made to the game’s rules.

The game of cribbage is one of the most popular card games out there. It is played by more than 10 million people in the U.S. (primarily in northern states, from New England to the Pacific), and one to two million players compete in nationwide cribbage leagues in Great Britain. Cribbage is even Britain’s national card game!

Where Did the Cribbage Game Originate?

The game of cribbage’s history is not cut-and-dried. Nantucket Islanders will tell you that cribbage was invented by their ancestors on whaling ships. Brits will tell you that the game came to the colonies from Britain and was invented by Sir John Suckling — a soldier, poet, and a bit of a rogue — in the early 1600s.

Since it only requires two players, cribbage was popular among sailors and fishermen. The Inuit people even made cribbage boards from walrus tusks to trade with sailors they encountered. The cribbage game remained popular among sailors throughout the years and was played by many Navy men during World War II.

What Does a Cribbage Board Look Like?

Hilton Head Cribbage Board

Cribbage boards come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but the typical design is a wood cribbage board with a winding track of 60 or 120 counting holes for each player, in addition to a game hole. A quick search on the internet will yield hundreds of designs for cribbage boards, but may we suggest considering one of Wood Chart’s stunningly detailed wood cribbage boards, like the beautiful one of Hilton Head?

Where Do I Get a Wood Cribbage Board?

If you’re looking for a beautiful, quality wood cribbage board, look no further than Wood Chart. Our cribbage game boards feature intricately engraved wood maps etched into Baltic birch. These wood cribbage boards are more than just a game; they are a piece of art that celebrates a region that may be near and dear to your heart.

We have numerous cribbage boards from which you can choose, from laser-etched maps of the United Kingdom to Lake Michigan to Nantucket and more. Our wood cribbage boards feature laser-etched details of the area’s depths of water and the topography of the land. Our cribbage game allows for three players and includes skunks and pins — and a hidden storage compartment where you can keep the pieces. 

3 Essential Concepts in the Game of Cribbage

Lake Michigan Cribbage Board

So, you want to learn how to play cribbage? The objective of the game of cribbage — which involves both luck and skill — is to be the first player to get the highest number of points, which are marked by pegs on the board. Players can play to either 61 or 121 points.

To play the game of cribbage, you need at least two players (a “dealer” and a “pone,” which are interchangeable throughout the game), a cribbage board and its pieces, and a standard deck of cards without jokers. Here are three essential concepts you need to understand to learn how to play cribbage:

  • Scoring (pegging)
  • The cut and the deal
  • The play and the show

Cribbage Terminology You Need to Know:

  • Pone
  • Muggins
  • Skunk


The “pone” is the player who is not the dealer (the person who starts the cribbage game). The pone cuts the deck of cards and typically is seated to the dealer’s right. The two roles are interchangeable throughout the game.


If a player says the word “muggins,” they can claim points left on the board by the other player. This rule is optional — players must decide if they will use this term before the cribbage game starts.


When the cribbage game has been won between 31 and 60 points, this is called a “skunk.” A “double skunk” is when the game is won by 61 to 90 points. Skunking is important when it comes to cribbage tournaments, as it can add extra game points for the winner.

Top Reasons You Should Play Cribbage

Nantucket Cribbage Board

Sure, it may take some time to understand how to play the game of cribbage, but we think it is totally worth the effort. Need some convincing? Here are six great reasons why you should play cribbage — we love cribbage because it:

  1. Stands the test of time
  2. Only needs a few materials
  3. Is a two-player game
  4. Has an easy learning curve
  5. Is for all ages
  6. Travels well

Why You Should Buy a Wood Cribbage Board from Wood Chart

Now that we have convinced you to get your very own cribbage board and learn to play the game, let us encourage you to invest in a high-quality wood cribbage board from Wood Chart. Our wood cribbage boards are not just a simple cribbage game — they are stunning pieces of wood art that map out the contours and landmarks of a specific area.

3 Great Reasons to Purchase a Wood Chart Cribbage Board:

  1. Commemorate a special trip
  2. Celebrate the region you live in and love
  3. Give as a unique gift for a friend or family member

Wood Cribbage Boards Are Beautiful and Fun

I don’t know about you, but after learning all about the game of cribbage, I can’t wait to start playing! A wood cribbage board from Wood Chart is a unique piece that not only displays the beauty of a special place, but also holds the promise of making fun memories with loved ones as you learn to play the cribbage game together. Now to decide which gorgeous wood cribbage board to purchase…

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