A Brief History of Cribbage

Cribbage pic

Cribbage
Image: askaboutsports.com

A college student based in Corvallis, Oregon, Cody Gotchall plans to pursue a career in the field of mathematics. Outside of his other pursuits, Cody Gotchall spends his free time reading, listening to music, and playing cribbage.

Derived from an earlier card game called noddy, cribbage was invented in the 17th century by Sir John Suckling, a wealthy English poet, soldier, and noted card player. The popularity of cribbage spread to North America, thanks to English colonists who brought the game to the shores of New England. Cribbage was especially popular among fishermen and sailors, who needed a way to pass the time while at sea.

The game’s popularity with sailors really took off during World War II. Considered the unofficial game of Navy submariners, cribbage was played throughout the US sub fleet. Cribbage is still part of Navy tradition. A “lucky” cribbage board used on the famous USS Wahoo is kept in the Navy’s oldest active submarine. Once the sub is decommissioned, the board is passed along to the next oldest vessel in the fleet.

Although cribbage isn’t as popular as other card games, it is still enjoyed worldwide. In the United States, the American Cribbage Congress sponsors hundreds of sanctioned tournaments across the country. The organization was instrumental in making John Suckling’s birthday, February 10, the official National Cribbage Day.

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