Cribbage newbies may think that there is little strategy in the game -- just keep pegging away! In fact, there's a lot of skill and mastery involved in discarding into the crib and tempting your opponent into playing a card.
Below are some general cribbage tips that may help you improve your game.
Don't start a play with a 5 or a 10-value card, because if you do, you give your opponent the opportunity to score 2 points by playing to 15.
Try to lead your opponent during play. For example, if you start with a 7, your opponent could play an 8 for 15 and score 2 points. By leading, you can play a 9 to score 3 points for a Run.
In a play, leading from a Pair is a good strategy. For example, if you have a Pair, you can lead by playing one of the cards of that Pair. If your opponent plays a matching card, you can play your other Pair for Three of a Kind and score 6 points.
Place valuable cards in your crib such as a Pair or two cards of a Run.
When it's your opponent's crib, discard carefully. Avoid giving your opponent any cards that can add up to 15 easily, such as a 5 or 10-value cards.
Try to discard varying cards in different suits to your opponent's crib. This strategy can deprive your opponent of Runs and of the opportunity of adding up to 15. For example, if your opponent's crib has a 9 and 7, don't throw out an 8 into their crib. This would give them a score of 5 points: 3 points for a run and 2 points for 15.
Towards the end of the game, keep low cards in your hand so you'll have more opportunities to score Go points.
When players are approaching the end of the game, although the dealer has an advantage of scoring both hand and crib, the pone has a bigger advantage of counting the hand first. In this situation, neither player may have to worry much about the crib: the pone may even discard high-scoring cards into dealer's crib while the dealer should concentrate mostly on leaving high-scoring cards for the game play.
See advanced cribbage tips here: Play Cribbage Better
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