Pegging in Cribbage

Pegging pic

Pegging
Image: britannica.com

When Cody Gotchall was younger, his father taught him cribbage as a way of learning pattern recognition and math. Now a student at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon, Cody Gotchall enjoys winning cribbage matches against his father and other members of their family.

To win at cribbage, a player must become adept at the process of pegging. This involves identifying point-earning situations and taking the appropriate points by moving one’s pegs along the scoreboard.

One of the foundational pegging moments is referred to as “Go,” which occurs when a player’s card prevents his or her opponent from adding a card that would keep the running total under 31. When this happens, the latter player says “Go,” and the player who came closest to 31 pegs one point.

A player can peg two points by putting down a card that creates a total of 15. Other pegging situations depend on the relationship between the two cards. For example, in the case of a pair, two points are awarded to a player who adds a card with the same rank as the card most recently put down. A sequence of three yields three points and four of a rank, also known as a double pair or double pair royal, is worth four.

Similarly, a player who creates a sequence of three cards, regardless of rank, can peg three points. Sequences of four are worth four points and sequences of five are worth five points. Sequences, also known as runs, do not need to be in numerical order but must be uninterrupted. This means that a play of 4-7-5-6 is a run but a play of 4-7-5-5-6 is not, as an extra five is present.

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