In the United States and Canada, you do not have to look far to find a cribbage match. More than ten million people skunk, double skunk, and throw cards in the crib in the US alone. This card game, which also uses a board, has been a game night favorite since 1640. One might say the game is seeing a resurgence, but true cribbage fans know it never left.
The cribbage board you choose can be as unique as the players who gather to play. Many varieties are available, but you do not want to get caught playing on a sub-par board.
Sure, the most common question about the game is whether cribbage is a game of skill or luck. However, the more important question should be, what does your cribbage board say about you?
Plastic, aluminum, or wood—each variation of cribbage board comes in many styles, colors, and features. Each can be of different quality, too. So, what is most important to you in a cribbage board? There are five simple signs to identify if you have purchased a quality cribbage board.
Five Features of a Quality Cribbage Board
- Well-made pegs
- Continuous tracks
1. Well-made Pegs Mark the Score
While it may seem to be a minor detail, the size, feel, and quality of your pegs can be a significant stressor when not appropriately matched to your board. For example, light, plastic pegs are problematic as they may stick to your hand or not hold firmly in the peg hole. Lighter pegs that are not appropriately sized for the holes in your board can also fall out easily when the board is bumped or moved.
Even the noblest of men has completely lost his cool when pegs are jostled out of position, and his winning score is now in question! Quality, metal pegs that have been sized to the holes of your board are most favorable. All nine pegs needed should be the same size and weight and come in three different colors.
2. Continuous Tracks Keep Scoring on Track
Cribbage boards can be made with two sixty-hole tracks or continuous 120-hole tracks, with one pegging-out hole at the end. The longer track is the better choice and is found on most high-quality cribbage boards. While the shorter tracks are acceptable, they do not allow for the traditional “skunk line.”
The sixty-hole track requires the players to play to the end and return to the hole where the match started, ultimately bringing them to 120. But who wants to be responsible for remembering if you are on your way up or back? In the lively traditional atmosphere of a cribbage match, a one-way continuous trip to victory on your quality cribbage board is most desirable.
3. The Board You Spend Quality Time with Should be Attractive
There are hundreds of options in cribbage boards. The one you choose to play with should say all the best things about you. The quality cribbage board speaks volumes about your skill and level of seriousness about skunking your opponent. Selecting the right one is no small matter!
A wood cribbage board is your best option due to its versatility and ability to be personalized. It can reflect your interests and make the game even more enjoyable. Plus, the lulls in play can be filled with conversations about your choice of cribbage board.
A high-quality wood cribbage board etched with exquisite detail of a country you have visited or a lake where you vacationed as a child is a signal of your commitment to the game. When you place a beautifully detailed wood map of Italy on the table, surrounded by peg holes and solid, well-fitting pegs, you bring a whole new level of discussion to the match. Your wood cribbage board has game!
Not to mention, the style of your wood cribbage board can be a secret ally. You will be ready to skunk the competition while your nautical wood map game board’s details and beauty distract your opponent.
4. Storage is Key
Storage is a game-changer on two levels with a quality cribbage board. First, you want your pegs right at hand to start a cribbage match at any time, so storage of the pegs on the wood cribbage board itself is incredibly important. A quality wood cribbage board will provide in-set storage on the underside to store the pegs.
Second, how do you store your wood cribbage board during those infrequent times when it is not in use? A high-quality wood map cribbage board is both a functional gaming piece and a stunning piece of art. The nautical wood map cribbage board becomes a statement piece in or out of play as a display on a table or hung on the wall using a nail slot provided on the backside of the board.
5. Portability. Is. Everything.
If you cannot bring your quality cribbage board with you, how do you challenge friends to a match over dinner or start a friendly game at your local pub? The whole point of having an enchanting wood cribbage board is to engage with others about play and, perhaps, travel. The ability to easily transport your cribbage showpiece may be last on this list, but it certainly is not the least important feature.
A reasonably sized, portable board with well-made pegs stored on the backside can easily fit in a backpack or satchel so that gaming can quickly begin. Your taste in travel, as well as your commitment to a quality cribbage board, can quickly be on display.
A game that goes back centuries has been made new again. A deck of cards and quality cribbage boards has renewed an old tradition, and another generation of cribbage players is emerging. Yet, the age-old question still must be asked—is it a game of skill or a game of luck? My friend, it is a game of style and adventure, and your wood cribbage board must reflect both