Each player in turn (in the order of play), ending with the dealer, totals up the points in his hand, including the turn-up card, and pegs the amount. The order in which this is done is important as a player who tallies his score first may peg out and thus win the game even though another player’s tally would take him to an even greater score. In a standard, two-handed game, the hands are scored in the following order:
- Non-dealer’s hand
- Dealer’s hand
- Dealer’s crib
In general, hands are scored starting with the player to the dealer’s left, then rotating round to finish with the dealer’s hand, then the dealer’s crib.
Points are scored for:
- 2 points for having a group of cards that total 15 (again, face cards count 10, aces 1),
- 2 points for having a pair (notice that three of a kind forms three pairs, hence scores 6 points, and four of a kind scores 12; three of a kind is sometimes called a “pair royal” or “proil”, with 4 of a kind being a “double royal” or “double proil”),
- 3 points for a run of three, 4 for a run of four, etc.
- The number of cards in the hand (3 in five card, 4 in six card, 5 in seven card) points for a flush (that is cards of the same suit) not including the turn-up card, one more if the turn-up card is included. If you have a Jack in your hand when you score a flush, you still get to count one point for the “right Jack” assuming it is of the same suit as the turned up card (this is often overlooked by beginners). Also, the crib must be all the same suit (including turned up card) to score any flush points,
- 1 point “for his nob” or “nibs” for having a Jack of the same suit as the turn-up card (also known as the “right Jack”).
For example, if a player has the Ace, 6, 7 and 8 of Spades in his hand and the turn up card is the 6 of Hearts, he would score:
- “Fifteen six” – for three ways to form 15, that is 7 and 8, and Ace, 6 and 8 twice,
- “and two” – for a pair of sixes,
- “and six” – for two runs of three (6, 7, 8),
- “and four” – for the flush,
- “makes eighteen” – the total.
The score is traditionally read as shown, though players may simply declare the score, particularly with low-scoring hands. The highest possible score in six card cribbage is 29, for a holding of 5, 5, 5, J with a turn-up of a 5 of the same suit as the Jack. This scores:
- “fifteen sixteen” – for J-5 four times and 5-5-5 four times,
- “and twelve” – for four 5s,
- “and one for his nob makes twenty-nine.”
(Don’t be too concerned about how to score this particular hand, as acquiring this hand is extremely rare).
In the seven-card game it is a whopping 46, scored by 4,4,5,5,6,6 (including turn-up), that is fifteen 16, 24 in runs and 6 in pairs.
Not every score below these can actually be made and the lowest of those that can’t is 19 (except in seven-card). Because of this, a player with a hand scoring 0 will often declare “nineteen”. Another name for a hand scoring zero points is “Ukrainian Straight”. Other common calls are “Fifteen two and the rest won’t do”, and “Fifteen four and the rest don’t score” or “Fifteen four and there ain’t no more.”
In a variation called “Muggins”, if a player does not claim points either in the play or in the show, their opponent may announce “Muggins” and claim those points for themselves. Whether or not to play Muggins is determined before the start of the game.
Finally the dealer tallies the points in the crib. This works precisely the same as tallying the other hands, except that a flush scores only if its suit matches that of the turn-up card.