Is winning a Cribbage game skill, or is it luck? Maybe it is both. After all, most advances come to players who can create a winning strategy. But even with the best strategy, you might not beat a player who has a good run of luck.

Cribbage is based on skill and luck, so you must never bet a huge amount. The one way you can increase your chances of winning Cribbage is by knowing the basic rules for playing Cribbage.

Fortunately, you can learn basic scoring instructions and rules in only a few minutes. What’s more? After a couple of rounds, you might also start creating your strategies.

To know the easy rules for playing Cribbage, you need to be aware of the common mistakes people make while playing this game.

Scroll down to check the common mistakes and playing strategy.

Mistakes People Make While Playing Cribbage

#1 Not Avoiding 5s and 10s

Many Cribbage players do not avoid 5s and 10s in the game because they are unaware of the drawback.

It’s said that the worst card to lead of all time is a 5. That’s because almost 30% of the deck cards are made of 10-value cards. So the game players would try to keep at least one 10 in their hands.

That means you unknowingly give away free points when playing a 5. The 5 can be easily paired with 10, Queen, King, or Jack. So, unless you don’t have any other cards to play, do not give out a 5.

Similarly, playing 10 can also make you lose the game. You are giving away free points if you play a 10 and someone has a 5.

But if your only options are 10 or 5, you must continue the game by playing a 10. You do this hoping the other person might play for a pair and not a 5 off your card.

So, one of the simple rules of playing Cribbage online  is avoiding 5s and 10s.

#2 Not Dealing First

One of the most important yet overlooked playing strategies is not dealing first. Most new players make this mistake because they don’t realize they only need to win 6 out of 10 games where they deal first.

The traditional way of finding the dealer was to cut low cards where Ace was the lowest. After the dealer was selected for one round, other players would get to deal alternatively.

If you are playing Cribbage with 2 players, dealing first in the game gives you an amazing advantage even before the game starts. You can use this advantage later in the game, where you play only a few games, like the best of three.

If you truly want to win this exciting game, you must never pass or miss your deal.

#3 Not Counting Hands Properly

Unless you are playing Cribbage for dummies with a computer, you must never overlook the power of counting hands. More than a strategy, it’s a simple way of educating yourself about the possible combinations that can be made with the cards.

Playing Cribbage offline makes you responsible for accurately tallying and pegging the cards. That’s because in some regions, if you don’t count your hand correctly, the opponents can steal away your points. It’s called muggins.

For example, if you have 9 points but you count and declare the points as 8. In this case, your opponent won’t correct you and will take away the overlooked point. You are giving away free points.

So, accurately counting points in a Cribbage game is extremely important. By mastering this strategy, you can improve your chances of winning.

#4 Not Watching Out for Runs When Opponent Leads You

Unfortunately, few players watch out for runs when the opponent leads them. Well, one of the most basic rules of playing Cribbage is that you must keep an eye on your opponent.

When an opponent leads you, they are trying to set you up for a run of three cards. Especially if the player leads the round with 7 or 8, they expect you to play to give 15. But, by doing so, you allow them to play a 6 or 9.

So, even if at the end, you get two points for 15, your opponent will get 3 points for the run. It is an advantage for your opponent. The best playing Cribbage strategy in this situation is to take away your opponent’s striking power by playing a couple of points.

#5 Not Playing Conservative

Many players see Cribbage as a gamble and do not play this game with a conservative style. Unfortunately, it’s a terrible strategy. The best thing to do is play Cribbage fun and entertaining.

When you play Cribbage in a conservative style, you develop a better understanding of the game. So, your chances of losing the game also decrease.


Now that you have gone through the common mistakes people make while playing Cribbage. You can avoid them. Also, you can develop a better gaming strategy to play Cribbage online.