Media Monday: Cribbage

Stud Muffin’s family has a long and storied history of playing cribbage. He and his brothers learned it as kids and played regularly with their adored grandfather and father.

His father used it to help one of my nieces with her math. The counting and recognizing combinations of 15 would help her, he was sure. It did.

Stud Muffin once built a small cribbage table for his grandfather as a gift. Which reminds me, I should find out where that table is now and try to retrieve it. It’s basically a small table with a cribbage board drilled into the top.

cribbage board
Cribbage board from wikipedia

The premise (from Wikipedia): Cribbage, or crib, is a card game traditionally for two players, but commonly played with three, four, or more, that involves playing and grouping cards in combinations which gain points. Cribbage has several distinctive features: the cribbage board used for scorekeeping, the eponymous crib or box (a separate hand counting for the dealer), two distinct scoring stages (the play and the show) and a unique scoring system including points for groups of cards that total fifteen … Points are scored for card combinations that add up to fifteen, and for pairs, triples, quadruples, runs, and flushes.

Since I didn’t grow up playing the game, it doesn’t come naturally to me. I still have to think about the counting a lot (this may have something to do with my lack of math skills).

Cribbage is a combination of skill and luck. The luck comes into the draw of the cards, the skill in the playing of the cards. The best player in the world can’t win with a lousy hand.

I’ve been playing on the iPad and I force myself to count the points in every hand, both mine and the computer’s. It’s helping. I see the combinations of 15 much easier than I used to. I still have to count every point in a run. Stud Muffin knows that a run is three points (I think) and a double run is eight (again, I think).

Hmmm … I best go play a few rounds on the iPad to brush up on the rules before the next family gathering and tournament.