5 Tips to Help You Win at Cribbage

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Cribbage is a fun card game offering a twist at every move. Sometimes, you get good cards; other times, the situation is not in your favor. It can make you wonder whether this Cribbage game depends on skill or luck.

While it may not seem like it at times, Cribbage is a game that involves both luck and skill. Of course, the luck element can greatly influence the game. But most of the time, players need a detailed Cribbage strategy to win the Cribbage game.

Although luck can’t be controlled, you can surely improve your gaming skills. We have listed some tips that will help you win Cribbage.

Cribbage Strategy Tips to Help You Win the Game

Some Cribbage players have been pegging for a while now. But some do not know much about pegging or have never given it any thought. If you are new to the Cribbage gaming world and fall in the latter category, then you must look at some Cribbage basic strategies.

Here is a short list of both basic and advanced strategies:

#1 Deal First

Dealing first is the Cribbage advanced strategy that often gets overlooked, especially by rookie players. Statistically, players who deal first win almost six out of ten Cribbage games they play.

Traditionally, players cut low cards where Ace is the most down to determine who deals first. After that, the deal gets alternated. However, players can keep Ace as the highest while cutting cards to see who gets to market first.

Players who deal first in the game are at an advantage even before the fun begins. Later in the game, the edge becomes of greater importance. Similarly, passing a deal is also an important Cribbage strategy for beginners.

#2 Properly Count Your Hand

One essential Cribbage pegging strategy is properly counting the hands so you do not miss any points. It’s important because you lose the game if you miss any issues. Therefore, it’s more of an education strategy where you must learn the art of correctly counting your points.

If you are playing Cribbage online, you don’t have to worry about counting hands since the computer correctly does that. But anyway, you need to learn to properly measure your hand as it is an integral part of the game.

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Some variations of Cribbage include an option called muggins. It allows the opponent to freely steal away the points the player may have overlooked while counting.

For instance, after counting, if you declare your points to be eight, but in reality, it is nine, your opponent can steal the end you didn’t matter and added it to their score.

#3 Throw a 5 in Your Crib

Do you want to know Cribbage strategy tactics that can help you win some extra points? One such Cribbage strategy for discarding is throwing a five into your crib – unless it adds four or more points to your scoring hand. This strategy ensures that no five in your hand scores less than 2 points.

So, if you ever get confused about the five in your hand, follow this Cribbage discard strategy. But if you get an option to keep it or throw it into your opponent’s crib, you need a strong scoring hand to justify the discard.

#4 Keep An Eye on Your Opponent

If ever the opponent in the game is trying to lead you, they may want to set up a run of three cards. This Cribbage crib strategy happens when the opponent leads you with 8 or 7, so you give them a 15 to bring 6 or 9 for the run.

If there is a situation where you get 15 points, and the opponent gets 3 points, you also have to fight for a go-to break. A simple strategy is to take away your opponent’s striking power at the cost of playing around for a couple of points.

#5 Play Conservative

One successful strategy for playing Cribbage is playing the game in a conservative style rather than expecting a huge outcome. Of course, it’s natural to expect a very high hand for certain cards. But things don’t always happen as planned.

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It isn’t considered a smart move to hope for higher hands at the cost of several points. Doing so can ruin your entire game.  

You get more control of the board when you play Cribbage in a conservative style. It eliminates the damaging situation and offers you a better opportunity to win the game.


As you are aware of the strategy Cribbage, it’s time for you to play the game. But you do not have to purchase a pack of cards. Instead, you can use the Cribbage discard strategy and other strategies by playing at Cribbage for free.