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If you already know how to score traditional cribbage, you will be enjoying CrossCribb in a matter of minutes. If not, don't despair!

With the following easy-to-learn directions and the enclosed Scoring Aid, you'll be ready to compete with anyone in no time. Either way, you are about to be consumed by your new favorite game!


  • 1 CrossCribb game board
  • 2 CrossCribb Score Pads
  • 1 CrossCribb deck of cards
  • 1 Pencil
  • 1 Die
  • Instructions

Object of the Game

The objective of CrossCribb is to mark (peg) 31 points on the scorecard by building higher total cribbage scoring hands before your opponent.

Use your cards to build five high scoring cribbage hands on the playing board. The catch is that your opponent is also building cribbage hands perpendicular to yours.

Your goal is to create the best-scoring cribbage hands possible in your five columns, while simultaneously minimizing or "blocking" your opponent's scoring opportunities in their rows. It takes teamwork, anticipation, skill-and the luck of the draw to succeed at CrossCribb!

Because the 4-player version is the most popular way to play CrossCribb, read the 4-player directions first. After you read and understand the 4-player version, learning other player versions and game variations is easy.


Determine two teams of two players. Team members sit across from each other with the CrossCribb board between them. At this time, determine a score keeper and decide which team will be diamonds and which will be circles. Enter team names on score pad.

Determining the Deal: Each player draws a card from the CrossCribb deck. Low card deals. In case of a tie, all players draw again.

The Shuffle: Cards should be shuffled by the player to the dealer's left. It is the dealer's option to shuffle again before dealing.

The Deal: The deal starts with the player to the dealer's left and progresses clockwise. Each player is dealt seven cards, one at a time, face down. Players may not look at their cards. After the deal, cards remain face down in front of each player.

Game Play

Each player, in turn, flips over one card and places it onto an open square of the CrossCribb board. When all the cards have been played, the five "columns" (numbered 1 through 5) that run between you and your partner will count as regular cribbage hands in your favor (figure 1).

However, the five "rows" that run between your opponents will count as regular cribbage hands in their favor! (figure 2).

If you are familiar with playing and counting cribbage hands, you're ready to start play.

Starting Play:

Following the deal, the player to the dealer's right cuts the deck and the dealer turns up the top card from the lower half of the deck. This card is the Cut Card and is positioned face up in the center of the CrossCribb board.

Note: during the cut do not expose the bottom card of the top portion of the cut deck to any player.

If the Cut Card drawn by the dealer is a jack, the dealer's team immediately scores two points toward the team's total for this round of play. As in Cribbage, this is called His Heels, and the scorer marks "2" in the indicated place on the scorecard (figure 3).

Now the play begins! Each player turns up the top card of their pile without revealing it to the other players. The player left of the dealer starts the round by placing his card face up onto one of the open squares on the CrossCribb board.

The game progresses clockwise to the next player, and each player strategically places their card to yield the best scoring or blocking opportunity. Soon, cribbage hands will start to develop both horizontally and vertically. You're not allowed to signal or discuss play with your teammate during the round.

The center column and center row can score an additional point if a jack of the same suit as the Cut Card is played in that column or row (figure 4). As in cribbage, this is called His Knobs, and one point is added to the total of the hand occupying that row or column during scoring.

The Dealer's Crib:

At any point during the round of play, each player must select and discard one card, face down, to the dealer's crib. When you have made your discard to the crib, immediately turn up and play the next card from your hand, if any remain. If you wait until all but the last of your cards have been played, it must go into the crib.

The crib hand is the possession of the dealer and is kept face down until it is scored. The crib hand consists of the four discards and the Cut Card that was placed in the center of the board at the start of the round. Like traditional cribbage, if a jack of the same suit as the cut card is in the crib, His Knobs (1 point) is added to the crib hand's total.

When all cards have been played, the round is complete and scoring of the hands commences.


After the playing board is filled, each team totals their respective points for the five hands. The team with the highest total score marks (pegs) the difference between their score and their opponent's score.

Counting starts with the non-dealing team (represented here as the diamond team).

Count across the hand in row 1 and write the score in the corresponding position on the score pad.

Continue counting each hand in rows 2 through 5, and then total all five hands, plus any points lor His Heels or His Knobs, Io arrive at a score for this round. The dealer's team (represented here as the circle team) follows the same procedure to total their five hands, and then adds the score from the crib hand.

Whichever team has the highest total point score wins this round and advances the team's peg an amount equal to the difference between the two scores, as shown in figure 7.

End of the Game

Following counting and pegging, a new round commences by rotating the deal clockwise. Continue playing rounds until one team wins, or "goes out" by pegging at least 31 points before the opposition.

  • Win - To win by 15 or less points
  • Skunk (*) - To win by 16 or more points
  • Double Skunk (*) - To win by 31 points

(*) When Keeping Track Of Total Games Won, Count A Skunk As 2 Games And A Double Skunk As 3 Games.

How to Count Hands

The Rank of Cards:

The ace counts 1, the two 2, the three 3, and so on up to the ten. The king, queen, and jack also count 10. For purpose of scoring a sequence, the cards rank in their natural order-king, queen, jack, ten, down to ace, or the reverse.

Counting the Hands:

Each round of play consists of five separate hands for each team, plus one additional hand (the crib) for the team that dealt. Each hand is comprised of five cards. Points are obtained as follows:

  • Fifteen: 2 Points

    Each combination of cards totaling 15.

  • Pair: 2 Points

    Each pair of cards of the same rank.

  • Run

    (Each combination of three or more cards in a sequence counts 1 point for each card in the sequence (ex. 5-6-7=3 points)

  • Flush: 1 Point

    Four or five cards of the same suit count 1 point for each card in the sequence (ex. = 4 points). The crib must have 5 cards of the same suit to count a flush.

  • His Knobs

    Jack of the same suit as the Cut Card played in the same row or column as the Cut Card

  • His Heels

    Jack as the Cut Card; dealer receives 2 points

The combination of all of the previous scoring methods determines the total count for each hand.

Certain basic formulations should be learned to facilitate counting. The scoring formulations are as follows with examples:

Fifteen (total of two or more cards=15)2
Pair (ex. Q, Q)2
Three of a kind (ex. 3, 3, 3)6
Four of a kind (ex. 4, 4, 4, 4)12
Runs of three or more cards (ex. 3, 4, 5)1 for each card
Double three-card run, including pairs (ex. 5, 5, 6, 7}8
Double four-card run, including pairs (ex. A, A, 2, 3, 4)10
Triple run, including pairs (ex. A, A, A, 2, 3)15
Quadruple run, including pairs (ex. 5, 5, 6, 6, 7)16
Flush, four cards of a suit (except in crib)4
Flush, five cards of a suit5
Jack as the Cut Card (His Heels)2 to dealer
Jack of the same suit as Cut Card (His Knobs)
(His Knobs can only be received in row/column #3 or the crib)

Muggins (Optional):

Each player must count his/her hand (and crib) aloud and announce the total. At the completion of the announcement, should he/she have overlooked any scoring combination, his/her opponent may say "Muggins" and then score the points overlooked for themselves.

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