In a couple weeks, my wife Lacy and I are taking an extended weekend road trip to our family's cabin in northeastern Michigan to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It's in a very rural area so we will (thankfully) be completely unplugged during our time there. No internet. No television. What we will have is firewood, fishing poles, a small radio, some books, our telescope, and of course, games!

One game we intend to learn and play together while we are there is Cribbage. It's one of the few games using traditional playing cards intended for only two people, although up to four can play it. I played this game with my aunts, uncles and grandparents when I was younger but have long forgotten how to play it. I was gifted a cribbage board a couple years ago and unfortunately it has sat unused, so this trip seems like the perfect time to get it out and give it a try. All I remember is it is a very satisfying game if you're patient enough to learn it.

Cribbage was invented by Sir John Suckling in the early 1600s. He was a English poet and derived it from a game called Noddy. Cribbage was immortalized in Charles Dickens's 1841 novel The Old Curiosity Shop. The game became popular among sailors and was played often and became a pastime in the navy during World War II.

To play Cribbage, all you need is a standard deck of 52 cards (without jokers) and a cribbage board with pegs. You can probably find one cheap at a second-hand shop or a used one online. It's also usually available in the game aisles at major department stores.

The objective of the game is to be the first player to score a target number of points, usually 61 or 121. Points are scored for card combinations that add up to fifteen, and other combinations common in other card games such as pairs, three-of-a-kind, four-of-a-kind, flushes, runs, and so on. The pegs and board are used to keep score.

Sounds easy, right? Well, I have only scratched the surface of game play and strategy. But if you are up for the challenge, here are the most simple printable game rules I could find. Good luck and wish us luck learning it too!


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