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Friday, February 10, 2017

What are the rules of cribbage?

There are two games by the name of cribbage, one played with cards and one played with billiards. Our patron was referring to cribbage in the context of billiards, so we checked The New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Billiards by Mike Shamos.

Cribbage in pool is evidently similar to cribbage in cards. While part of the card game is getting combinations that equal fifteen, the point of the pool game is score five “cribbages,” a cribbage in this sense meaning a pair of balls that add up to fifteen. A cribbage must be made either in the same shot or in two consecutive shots, and the fifteen ball can only be pocketed after all the two-ball cribbages (of which there are seven) are gone. At that point, the fifteen ball counts as the only remaining cribbage. When racking the balls before the game, the fifteen must be placed in the center of the third row, and no two of the three corner balls may form a cribbage.

According to Shamos, cribbage is also known as “fifteen points” or “pair pool.”

For more information, we also have David G. Alciatore’s The Illustrated Principles of Pool and Steve Mizerak’s Complete Book of Pool.

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