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International Cribbage Day – February 10, 2023

Cribbage is one of the oldest and most popular card games. Sir John Suckling invented the game in the early 17th Century, based on the old English game “noddy.” Although the exact date that cribbage was invented is lost to history, we celebrate National Cribbage Day on February 10, Suckling’s birthday. Millions of Americans of all ages enjoy playing cribbage at home with their families or with friends in bars and social clubs. The most common variant is played with two players, and the score is kept on a cribbage board with 121 holes and pegs. Since 2017, February 10 has been designated as International Cribbage Day or ICD.

History of International Cribbage Day

Cribbage solitaire or cribbage patience is a two-player card game that involves playing and grouping cards into combinations that earn points. It’s a game that may be played with three or four players. Cribbage has several distinguishing features, including the cribbage board, the eponymous crib, box, or kitty (in parts of Canada), a separate hand counting for the dealer, two distinct scoring stages (the play and the show), and a unique scoring system that includes points for groups of cards that total 15. It has been dubbed “Britain’s national card game,” and it is the only one that can be legally played on licensed premises (pubs and clubs) without the need for local authority permission.

The game has few rules but yields a plethora of subtleties during play, which explains its enduring appeal and popularity. The tactical play differs depending on which cards one’s opponent has played, how many cards in the remaining pack will help the hand one is holding, and where one is on the board. A game can be decided by a few points—or even a single point—and the advantage frequently goes to an experienced player who employs strategy, such as calculating odds, and decisions are made depending on the relative locations of players on the board.

On Friday, February 10, 2017, the American Cribbage Congress and card players across the country will celebrate National Cribbage Day. Cribbage is one of the oldest card games still in use today. Sir John Suckling invented the game in the early 17th Century, based on the Old English game “nod.” Although the exact date the cribbage was invented is lost to history, we celebrate National Cribbage Day on February 10, Suckling’s birthday. The American Cribbage Congress is the cribbage’s governing body, running local clubs and leagues and maintaining a national ranking system. The American Garbage Congress and the U.K. Garbage Association commemorate this day as International Cribbage Day.

International Cribbage Day timeline

1600
The Game is Created

According to John Aubrey, cribbage is invented by the English poet Sir John Suckling as a derivation of the game "noddy."

1662
The Earliest Rules

The first rules are published in England and can be found in Cotgrave.

1940
The Common Pastime

American submariners enjoy playing cribbage as a recreational activity during World War II.

2017
The First Cribbage Day

On Friday, February 10, the American Cribbage Congress and card players across the country celebrate National Cribbage Day.

International Cribbage Day FAQs

Is cribbage still popular?

For centuries, men have adored the game of cribbage and its popularity has not waned over the years.

Why is cribbage so entertaining?

Anticipating what your opponent has in hand is one of the most enjoyable aspects of cribbage.

Is cribbage a difficult game?

Although cribbage may appear daunting at first, the basic game is very simple to learn and play.

International Cribbage Day Activities

  1. Share it on social media

    Let us do something to commemorate International Cribbage Day. Remember to use the hashtags #InternationalCribbageDay, when sharing something you did on social media to help spread the word.

  2. Play cribbage with your friends or family

    The variety of cribbage boards available is only a small part of what makes cribbage so enjoyable! Invite your friends or family to play this fast-paced game and see who comes out on top.

  3. Learn more about cribbage

    It is not a difficult game to learn. What makes it even more fun is that you need to play the game with other people so it encourages bonding.

5 Facts About Cribbage

  1. Perfect hand cribbage

    The perfect cribbage hand is 29, which is the highest possible hand in cribbage.

  2. Biggest possible improvement

    When you hold 4-4-6-6 and cut a five, the maximum possible improvement in your score from the cut is 20 points.

  3. Has a number of expressions

    Cribbage has produced the English language idioms like "level pegging," "what a turn-up/a turn-up for the books," "streets ahead," and "pegged out" that are impossible to fathom without.

  4. More fun phrases

    There are more fun phrases to use during cribbage play and scoring than a skunk and double skunk.

  5. The first dealer

    The first dealer in a game wins between 55% and 60% of the time.

Why We Love International Cribbage Day

  1. It’s beneficial to both mind and spirit

    This card game is great for improving your brain power. It is better than playing an online game which has been found to not be as beneficial as an actual game.

  2. It has withstood the passage of time

    You might think that the only reason people still play Cribbage today is because they are old-fashioned, and haven't been exposed to the great crop of modern games. But cribbage isn't just a relic of a bygone era; it's still popular today because it's a good game in its own right.

  3. It doesn’t take too long to learn

    Because of the many conventions involved and the level of skill required, some classic card games, such as Bridge, can take a lifetime to master and enjoy. Cribbage is not a chess-like game, even though it requires some strategy and skill.

International Cribbage Day dates

YearDateDay
2023February 10Friday
2024February 10Saturday
2025February 10Monday
2026February 10Tuesday
2027February 10Wednesday

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