Cribbage Solitaire is a combination solitaire-shedding-style of card game, based on the two games which make up its name. The rules are similar to the card game of Cribbage, with the Player utilizing both “hands” dealt onto the table as though they were their own.
How to Play Cribbage Solitaire?
Cribbage Solitaire utilizes the standard, 52-card Anglo-American deck. To begin the game, the deck should be shuffled and 12 cards should be dealt into two face-up horizontal rows of 6, leaving a large play area in between the two rows. The Player will then place the deck face-down, and select two cards from each deck to discard and place in between the two rows of 6.
Like in a traditional game of Cribbage, a crib must be formed. In order to form the crib, these four cards from the two decks will act as the first four cards of the crib. The fifth card will then be drawn from the deck. This card, known as the “starter”, determines the final value of the crib, and awards a Player score based upon the combination formed with this starter.
The game is reminiscent of Yahtzee in this way, there the aim of the game is to achieve specific melds that award certain numbers of points.
Cards are scored in multiple ways. Each meld awards its own score, and multiple melds can be possessed within the same crib. All possible combinations of cards in a single crib are accounted for scoring purposes. Below are the possible melds:
Utilizing the rank of the card (Ace, 2-10), where face-cards also hold a value of 10 points, any combination of “card score” adding up to 15 awards two points. However, the total must equal 15. Each possible combination of 15, made with different cards, also awards a Fifteen. For example, 10, 5, 9, 6, K would be able to form three different Fifteens (10,5/9,6/K,5) and as such awards six points.
Combinations of two cards with the same rank. Three and Four-of-a-kinds, known as Pair Royal and Double Pair Royal respectively, award exponentially more points due to the way points are scored in Solitaire Cribbage. Pair Royal awards 6 points for 3 possible pairs (Card A, B, Card B, C, Card A, C) and Double Pair Royal awards 12 points.
Also known as a “Straight.” Like the same meld from Rummy, Runs are groups of cards arranged in ascending or descending order. There must be at least three cards in a run, though more points are awarded for up to five cards in a Straight. One point is awarded for each card within the straight.
A group of four cards, either in the hands or the crib, that all share the same suit are a flush. A bonus point is awarded to any flush which matches the suit of the starter.
Jacks award points depending on their position. A Jack that has the same suit as the starter awards a single point. If the Jack is the starter, however, award two points.
The game is scored, traditionally, with 121 being the winning score (as that is the same winning score in Cribbage). As each round of Cribbage Solitaire utilizes 13 cards, 4 rounds can be played before the deck is depleted completely.
- All possible combinations are utilized in order to calculate the score.
- Rules generally state 121 Points add up to victory.
- The starter must be used in to form the possible card combinations, with each hand and the crib contributing to the melds.
Tips for Solitaire Cribbage
- As the starter determines the hands, try to discard cards such that each grouping of 4 cards on the table (The hands and crib) has some synergy in order to form as many melds as possible.
- Like all games of Solitaire, it is possible to not win simply because of the draw. Do not be discouraged if you do not reach the 121 score threshold.
- Even if you only accumulate a small number of points in the first round, do not be discouraged. There are four rounds in a game, so only 25% of the game has passed.
The following is a possible hand-crib combination in Cribbage Solitaire:
- A♦, K♠, 6♣, 4♥
- 7♠, 8♦, 6♣, 3♥
- And assume the starter is 5♦
This creates a total possible score of 13. Two runs, 456 and 5678, and then 3 possible Fifteens. As a proper game of Solitaire Cribbage would include an addition hand, 13 points for the Crib and one of the Hands is a decent score.
Can I play Cribbage Solitaire online?
While Cribbage Solitaire is not readily available, classic Cribbage is a fun card game that follows the same rules, while being available on Cardgames.io and Solitaired.com.
What are four 5’s worth in Cribbage Patience?
A Double Royal Pair of 5’s is unique in Cribbage Patience, because it awards many points. 12 from the Double Royal Pair, as well as an additional 8 points due to the four possible Fifteen combinations.
Where is Cribbage Solitaire most popular?
Cribbage Solitaire is most popular in the United States, particularly on the East Coast and in parts of Canada.