
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z symbols


addition method


A technique for finding the optimal discard as dealer. Essentially you
add the points retained in your hand to the
average crib. In most cases the holding with the highest total will
return the highest expected average


American Cribbage Congress (ACC)


Sanctioning body for organized cribbage in North
America and on the Internet


ACC Internet Cribbage


One of the three components of sanctioned play in North
America (the Tournament Trail and
Grass Roots being the others). Consists of an
annual season of Internet tournaments. Internet Rating
Points earned at these events determine national rankings, Internet
Championships and titles such as eMaster, eGrand Master and eLife
Master. Administered by the American Cribbage Congress


Anderson average


The average value (after the cut) of the four cards in
your hand assuming no knowledge of the two discarded cards


anticribbage


See cribbage to lose


average crib


The average value of the crib based on the two cards
you discard


average hand


The average value of a fourcard hand after the cut


bad eleven


The opposite of a magic eleven.
For the player on lead, a twocard combination with a
pip value of eleven. Such a combination is weak
because it will give up a 312 to two tencards


bad sixteen


The opposite of a magic sixteen.
For the player on lead, a twocard combination with a
pip value of sixteen. Such a combination is weak
because it will give up a 312 to 5x


balanced


Strategy in which you try to outscore your opponent.
Same as cautious offense


Barlow's rule


As pone, when you need a certain cut to put you out,
toss dealer cards that are helped by that cut. When you need a
certain cut to get close to going out, toss dealer cards that are not
helped by that cut


board position


Cribbage parlance for the score and identity of the
current dealer. At Cribbage Forum, scores are rendered from the
perspective of the player in question, with an asterisk denoting the
dealer. Thus 1417* would indicate that you have 14 points and are
pone, while your opponent has 17 points and is
dealer. Use of the term board position, as opposed to score,
suggests an emphasis on board strategy and
the alignment of the two players relative to each other and to the
positional holes


board strategy


A strategy that uses board
position to determine how to balance offensive and defensive play


break card


An out card


Bronze Award


An award given to Grass Roots
players who accumulate 1,000 lifetime Grass
Roots rating points


bust hand/
bust crib


A hand or crib worth no points. Also called a 19
or rock 

case


As in "case 5", "case Q",
etc. Slang used to refer to the fourth card of a particular suit when
the first three have already been seen. E.g., "I got a 29 hand by
cutting the case 5 to 555J"
or "He had the case 3 in his hand end ended up
quadrupling me".


cat


North American slang for crib. The
expression derives from the use of the word kitty to denote a pot
in other card games


cautious offense


Normal play strategy in which you are trying to
outscore your opponent. Offense and defense are evenly balanced in this
strategy. Compare with playing on,
playing off,
desperation offense and desperation
defense. Sometimes called optimal or
balanced play


Chambers average


For dealer, the average hand
plus the average value of the two cards you discarded to your crib. For
pone, the average hand minus the average
value of the two cards you discarded to opponent's crib. Also called
minimal average


close cuts


The number of individual starters that move you to
within a few holes (typically three) of victory on your
first count. Used as a measure to help find
the optimal discard for pone in specific count
situations


close ranks


The number of cut ranks (A through
K) that move you to within a few holes (typically three)
of victory on your first count. Used as a
measure to help find the optimal discard for pone in
specific count situations


Colvert average


Expected average calculated
using DeLynn Colvert's published discarding statistics


Colvert exception


In desperation defense
situations in the endgame, lead a
low card unless you have a
midcard with only one more loser than the low
card. In that case lead the midcard instead


Colvert's rule


If you must lead from 5x, and dealer is
holding two cards, lead the 5 if dealer is not showing
any tencards


consolation event


A oneday event at a sanctioned
tournament, typically open to players who have been eliminated from
the main event. The most common format is a
ninegame qualifying round followed by
bestofthree single elimination playoffs


count


1. The value of a hand
2. To score a hand or crib (also called showing)
3. The cumulative pip value of cards played
during a single play series. This cannot
exceed 31


crib


The four cards formed by each player's discard, counted
by the dealer as an "extra" hand at the end of the deal. It is for the
crib that the game of cribbage is named


cribbage to lose


A cribbage variant in which the object is to lose
instead of win. All other rules of normal cribbage, including
His Heels, apply. Also called anticribbage,
reverse cribbage, loser's cribbage, lowball,
Polish cribbage, etc.


cut


1. The starter
2. The act of cutting the deck for the starter
3. The act of cutting the deck before dealer distributes the cards
(required in tournament play but often skipped in informal play)
4. The act of cutting the deck to determine first
dealer (the lower card deals first)


cut jack


See His Heels


dead hole


See stinkhole


delta


The amount by which the average crib will vary from its
normal value due to the statistical effect of the four cards retained in
your hand


desperation defense


Strategy in which offense is disregarded entirely in an
effort to prevent opponent from scoring any points or a specific number
of points. May entail risking a large score in order to reduce the
chances of giving up any score. Typically employed on the last
deal as dealer. Compare with cautious offense,
playing on, playing off,
prevent defense and
desperation offense


desperation offense


Strategy in which defense is disregarded entirely in an
effort to score a large or specific number of points. Typically employed
on the last deal as pone (see specific count),
or when way behind. Compare with cautious
offense, playing on,
playing off and desperation defense


double pairs royal


Archaic term for fourofakind


edge cards


The A2 and QK
combinations


endgame


The final stages of a game, especially the last or
nexttolast deal


endgame count


A point count system used to find the optimal discard
for pone in specific count situations


expected average


For dealer, the average hand
plus the average crib. For pone, the
average hand minus the
average crib


first count


Pone's hand count, so named because pone counts her
hand before dealer. This is a significant advantage late on
Fourth Street, and forms the basis for
board strategy


first dealer


The player who was dealer on the first deal of the game


first pone


The player who was pone on the first deal of the game


First Street


Holes 1 through 30


Fourth Street


Holes 91 through 120


game hole


The 121st hole in a cribbage board. The first player to
reach it wins


game points


Points awarded for winning a cribbage game. The most
common method is: two game points for a simple win, three game points
for a skunk and zero game points for a loss. This
system is used in Grass Roots play, in the
qualifying rounds of
sanctioned tournaments, and for most Internet
match play


go


1. What you are required to say during the
pegging if you have no cards remaining that would
keep the count within 31
2. The point your opponent is awarded if you are forced to say go


go out


To reach the game hole. To win


Gold Award


An award given to players who accumulate 4,000 lifetime
Grass Roots rating points. No player has
yet earned this distinction


Grand Master


A title given to players who accumulate 4,000 lifetime
MRPs


grand slam


Winning every game of a sanctioned
tournament qualifying round or a
ninegame Grass Roots tournament


Grass Roots


One of the three components of sanctioned play in North
America (the Tournament Trail and
ACC Internet Cribbage being the
others). Features weekly tournaments at local clubs in a ninegame round
robin format with no playoffs. Administered by the
American Cribbage Congress


Grass Roots rating points


Rating points earned through
Grass Roots play, used to determine club and division champions (on
an annual basis) and Bronze,
Silver and Gold Awards
(on a lifetime basis). See under qualify. Note
that Grass Roots rating points are tabulated separately from
Master Rating Points


hauling wood


Overpegging


helper card


A card that creates a score in combination with other
known cards


Hessel average


Expected average calculated
using Craig Hessel's published discarding statistics


high card


10, J, Q
or K


His Heels/His Nibs


A J cut as the
starter, worth two points for the dealer


His Nobs


The right J


Internet Cribbage Program (ICP)


See ACC Internet
cribbage


Internet Rating Points (IRPs)


Rating points earned through play in ACCsanctioned
Internet cribbage tournaments (see ACC
Internet cribbage). Used to determine the Internet Champion and
allInternet team (on an annual basis) and eMaster, eGrand Master and
eLife Master titles (on a lifetime basis)


ladder


A form of organized play, popular on the Internet, in
which players ascend in rank by defeating higher ranked players


last card


A onepoint score awarded for playing the last card of
the deal


lead


1. The first card played in a
play series
2. To play the first card in a play series


Life Master


A title given to players who accumulate 6,000 lifetime
MRPs


loser


In pegging, any card that
opponent can play to score on your last played card. Compare with
winner


loser's cribbage


See cribbage to lose


lowball


See cribbage to lose


low card


At Cribbage Forum, used to refer to an A,
2, 3 or 4


midcard


6, 7, 8 or
9


magic five


A twocard combination with a pip
value of five (i.e., A4 or 23).
Valued because if led from, it scores a 152 against a
tencard reply


magic eleven


A combination of cards whose pip
value totals eleven. Such a combination of three cards (if leading)
or two cards (if defending a lead) is valued because it scores a 312
against tencards


magic sixteen


A combination of cards whose pip
value totals sixteen. Such a combination of three cards (if leading)
or two cards (if defending a lead) is valued because it scores a 312
against 5x


main event


The primary event at a sanctioned
tournament. A main event typically takes place over one or two days,
and consists of a 22game qualifying round
followed by bestoffive single elimination playoffs


Master


A title given to players who accumulate 2,000 lifetime
MRPs


Master Rating Points (MRPs)


Rating points earned through
Tournament Trail play, used to determine regional and national
champions (on an annual basis) and Master,
Grand Master and Life
Master titles (on a lifetime basis)


match


A series of games played against the same opponent


Michaelis A234


The ploy of discarding 23 to your crib
from A234xx in order to maximize your expected
average. Named for Mick Michaelis


minimal average


See Chambers average


Mueller average


Expected average plus average
net pegging (assuming balanced play)


muggins


Optional rule in which a player is entitled to claim
points missed by his/her opponent. Usually not used in tournament and
Internet play


near cards


Cards separated by one rank, such as A3,
57 or 9J. Compare with
touching cards or edge
cards


19


A bust hand or crib. So named
because there are no cribbage hands worth exactly nineteen points


Old Faithful


Joseph Wergin's term for the following
pegging trap as pone:
^{6}^{ }_{x}_{ }^{6 }^{ }_{5}_{ }^{4}^{ (315) }_{ }_{x
}_{ }^{5}^{ (152) }_{x}_{ (251)}


opening lead


The first card played in the first
play series. Also see lead


out card


A card well separated in rank from the other three
(e.g., the 8 in 2348 or the K
in 456K). Such a card offers protection against
getting trapped into pegging runs. Also called
break card


pairs royal


Archaic term for threeofakind


par holes


DeLynn Colvert's term for
positional holes


pegging


Strictly speaking, the act of claiming a score by
moving your pegs on a cribbage board. In North American usage, however,
pegging usually refers to the play of the hands and the points
scored therein, in contrast to the points scored by counting the hands
and crib


pegout


A situation where either player can win by
pegging


pip value


The rank value of a card or combination of cards. In
cribbage, an A has a pip value of one, a 2
has a pip value of two, and so forth, but a 10 or
face card has a pip value of ten


pips


Spots on a playing card, generally in the shape of its
suit, used to denote its rank


play


The phase of each deal that occurs after cutting the
starter, in which players sequentially play their
cards face up in an attempt to form scoring combinations. This phase is
distinct from the counting of the hands and crib, which
immediately follows. To avoid confusion with other lessspecialized
meanings of the word play, North American players have come to
prefer the term pegging


play series


A sequence of played cards culminating in a
go, 31 or last card


playing off


Strategy in which defense is primary and offense is
secondary. Typically employed to prevent your opponent from either
preserving a positional surplus or
overcoming a positional deficit. Also
see prevent defense. Compare with
cautious offense,
playing on, desperation defense
and desperation offense


playing on


Strategy in which offense is primary and defense is
secondary. Typically employed to preserve a
positional surplus or overcome a
positional deficit. Compare with
cautious offense,
playing off, desperation defense
and desperation offense


playoffs


A series of matches, usually single elimination, used
in sanctioned tournament events to determine a
winner. MRPs and prize money are awarded on a
graduated basis to players who compete in the playoffs


Polish cribbage


See cribbage to lose


pone


Nondealer


positional advantage


A theoretical propensity to win the game based on board
position. Typically determined by the score at the start of the deal.
Pone has the positional advantage if he has reached, or is within ten
points of reaching, a positional hole
that dealer has not yet reached. Otherwise dealer has the positional
advantage


positional deficit


The amount by which the player with the
positional disadvantage lags the
next positional hole after counting his hand as pone. Also by extension,
the amount by which that player can be expected to lag the next
positional hole (assuming average scoring) after he next counts a hand
as pone. For example, the first pone starts the
game with an eight point positional deficit, since average scoring on
the first deal (ten points) will leave him eight points short of the
next positional hole (18) after he counts his hand. This would be
expressed numerically as 8. Also see
positional surplus


positional disadvantage


The opposite of a
positional advantage


positional hole


John Chamber's term for those holes on a cribbage board
that represent the minimum point of good position for winning with your
three counts. At Cribbage Forum, the
positional holes are considered to be 18, 44, 70 and 96. Put simply,
your strategic objective is to beat your opponent to each of the
positional holes


positional parity


For the player with the
positional advantage, being exactly at (not past) a
positional hole. Also referred to
as being at par


positional standing


A player's score in relation to the desired
positional hole, i.e. her
positional deficit,
positional parity or
positional surplus, as appropriate.
Typically expressed numerically as 3, 0, +12, etc.


positional surplus


The amount by which the player with the
positional advantage exceeds the
positional hole after counting her hand as pone. Also by extension, the
amount by which that player can be expected to exceed the next
positional hole (assuming average scoring) after she next counts a hand
as pone. For example, the first dealer starts
the game with an eight point positional surplus, since average scoring
on the first two deals (26 points) will leave her eight points beyond
the positional hole (18) after she counts her hand as pone. This would
be expressed numerically as +8. Also see
positional deficit


prevent defense


A special case of playing off
in which the objective is to not give up a large score. This may entail
giving up smaller scores in order to reduce the risk of a large score.
Typically employed when protecting a large lead late in the game.
Compare with cautious offense,
playing on, playing off,
desperation defense and
desperation offense


Qpool


Short for qualifying pool. A side pot used to
reward the top finishers in the qualifying
round of a sanctioned tournament


quadruple


In pegging, to play the fourth
consecutive card of the same rank


qualify


1. To reach the playoffs in a
sanctioned tournament event
2. To receive Grass Roots rating points
by finishing in the top 20% of a Grass Roots
tournament, or by finishing with the same number of
game points as another player in the top 20%


qualifying round


In sanctioned tournament
events, a series of roundrobin games used to determine who advances to
the playoffs. Under ACC guidelines, the top 25% of
players in this round qualify, and the top 12.5%
receive extra MRPs based on the number of
game points won. Frequently, top qualifiers
also receive awards independent of their performance in the playoffs
(see QPool, for example)


Raggedy Ann


Slang for AA678, worth 13 points


Ras average


Short for Rasmussen average.
Expected average calculated using George Rasmussen's discarding
statistics


renege


Failure to play a card that you are legally required to
play (i.e., after a go is called). ACC rules
mandate a penalty for this infraction


reverse cribbage


See cribbage to lose


right jack


A J in the hand or crib that matches the
starter suit. Worth one point. Also called His
Nobs


rock


Slang for a bust hand or crib


rule of eight


If you lead a low card from a 3/1 lohi hand such as
AA4x or 233x, and dealer replies
with a pairable tencard, take the pair if the pip
value of your low cards totals eight or less. Otherwise take the
152


run


Three or more cards in sequence by rank


sanctioned tournament


A competition authorized by the ACC
in which winners are eligible for MRPs. Typically
sanctioned tournaments occur on weekends, and feature a
main event, a consolation event and
nonsanctioned satellite events


satellite event


An auxiliary event at a
sanctioned tournament for which winners do not receive
MRPs. Doubles, High Rollers, Saturday Night Special
and Cry Baby events are examples of common satellite events


Schempp average


The estimated pegging value of a fourcard hand, based
on an algorithm written by Tim Schempp


Second Street


Holes 31 through 60


Silver Award


An award given to Grass Roots
players who accumulate 2,500 lifetime Grass
Roots rating points


skunk


A victory by 31 or more points


skunk line


A line on a standard cribbage board separating the 90th
and 91st holes. To avoid being skunked, it is
necessary to cross this line before your opponent wins the game


skunk positional hole


One of the three
positional holes (14, 40 and 66) that represent the minimum point of
good position for crossing the skunk line. To
avoid being skunked, your strategic objective is to reach each skunk
positional hole before your opponent reaches the corresponding normal
positional hole


specific count


A common endgame situation
in which pone discards to maximize the chances of obtaining the precise
number of points needed to go out


starter


A card cut from the deck by pone after each player has
discarded. This card is turned faceup and treated as a common fifth
card for purposes of scoring the hands and crib. Also called the cut
or (chiefly in the UK) the upcard


steal last card


As pone, to win a point for last
card when dealer is forced to play an extra card after pone says
go


stinkhole


Cribbage slang for the next to last (120th) hole. Also
called the dead hole


strategy


Longterm planning. Compare with
tactics


street


One of the four 30hole divisions of a standard
cribbage board. See First Street,
Second Street, Third
Street and Fourth Street


supercuts


A measure to help find the optimal discard for pone in
specific count situations. Consists of
winning cuts plus
close cuts


superranks


A measure to help find the optimal discard for pone in
specific count situations. Consists of
winning ranks plus
close ranks


tactics


Shortterm devices and techniques. Compare with
strategy


tencard


Any card with a pip value of
ten. In cribbage this is a 10, J, Q
or K. Also called tenth card


Third Street


Holes 61 through 90


three counts


The scoring of your hand and crib as dealer on one
deal, followed the scoring of your hand as pone on the following deal.
Since these three counts occur virtually in succession (only the
pegging on the second deal intervenes), your
objective in the endgame is to get close
enough to the game hole to win with your final
three counts. This concept is the basis for
board strategy in cribbage


threeonone, twoonone, twoonnone, etc.


A situation at the end of the
pegging where the player to play next has more cards than his
opponent


2124 rule


A rule of thumb for assessing the safety of a low card
lead from a 1/3 lomid hand such as 2678. In general,
the low card is safe to lead if the total pip value
of the hand is between 21 and 24


26 theory


Board strategy developed
by DeLynn Colvert, based on the assumption that the average combined
scoring for dealer and pone is 26 points per deal


toss


Discard


touching cards


Cards adjacent in rank, such as 23,
56 or 10J. Compare with
near cards or edge cards


Tournament Trail


One of the three components of sanctioned play in North
America (Grass Roots and
ACC Internet cribbage being the
others). Consists of an annual season of
sanctioned tournaments, generally held on weekends at various
locations throughout the year. Master Rating Points
earned at these events determine national rankings, National
Championships and titles such as Master,
Grand Master and Life
Master. Administered by the American Cribbage
Congress


triple


In pegging, to play the third
consecutive card of a rank


valley cards


Joseph Wergin's term for midcards


wide cards


Two cards separated by several ranks, such as
3Q. Compare with touching cards,
near cards and edge cards


winner


In pegging, any card your
opponent might play that will let you score with your next card. Compare
with loser


winning cuts


The number of individual starters that give you enough
points to win on your first count. Used as a
measure to help find the optimal discard for pone in
specific count situations


winning ranks


The number of cut ranks (A through
K) that give you enough points to win on your
first count. Used as a measure to help find
the optimal discard for pone in specific count
situations


x 

In cribbage, shorthand notation for an unspecified
tencard. Note that this is the opposite of how
this symbol is used in bridge notation


?


1. A poor play
2. A decision point in a cribbage quiz


??


A blunder


!


A good play


!!


A brilliant play


*


Denotes the dealer when a score is given. For example,
6067* means you have 60 points, opponent has 67 and opponent is on deal


Cribbage Forum features articles on cribbage strategy
and tactics by Michael Schell,
ACC Bronze Award winner, 2001 Washington State Champion and winner of
other accolades
in Internet and overtheboard cribbage. Cribbage Forum is a project of
schellsburg.com.
Publisher: Michael Schell. Editorial Assistant: Lauren Marshall.
Original Material and HTML Coding
Copyright © 2002–17 by
Michael Schell. All Rights Reserved.
