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How to count your cribbage hand

Learn to score a cribbage hand with no mistakes

see also:
Cribbage Rules - How to Play Cribbage
Cribbage Strategy - Play Cribbage better
Cribbage Internet Tournaments
Cribbage 29 hand and some Cribbage statistics
Cribbage pone pegging score
Cribbage dealer pegging score
Play Cribbage Online. Cribbage Tournaments
play cribbage online
click here to play cribbage online with other players

Intro
Though in online cribbage you don't need to score manually the counting your cribbage hand correctly is a very important part of the game of Cribbage. Moreover, you can select the "Manual" option or play non-online cribbage with Muggins variation. Muggins is when a person misses points and the other person takes them. To simplify calculation, order your cribbage hand left to right from low cards to high. Of course, in online cribbage it is done already.
In explanation below we use card notation of all our card games, "Suit Value", DJ means Jack of Diamonds, S0 means 10 of Spades etc.

The Scoring points
Let's recall cribbage rules and the the combinations that give points:
15: Any combination of cards adding up to 15 pips scores 2 points. For example king, jack, five, five would count 8 points (four fifteens as the king and the jack can each be paired with either five). This combination would be marked as fifteen: 8.
Pair: A pair of cards of the same rank score 2 points. Three cards of the same rank contain 3 different pairs and thus score a total of 6 points for pair royal. Four of a kind contain 6 pairs and so score 12 points.
Run: Three cards of consecutive rank (irrespective of suit), such as ace-2-3, score 3 points for a run. A hand such as 6-7-7-8 contains two runs of 3 (as well as two fifteens and a pair) and so would score 12 altogether. A run of four cards, such as 9-10-J-Q scores 4 points (this is slightly illogical - you might expect it to score 6 because it contains two runs of 3, but it doesn't. The runs of 3 within it don't count - you just get 4), and a run of five cards scores 5.
Flush: If all four cards of the hand are the same suit, 4 points are scored for flush. If the start card is the same suit as well, the flush is worth 5 points. There is no score for having 3 hand cards and the start all the same suit. Note also that there is no score for flush during the play - it only counts in the show.
One For His Nob: If the hand contains the jack of the same suit as the start card, you peg One for his nob.

Cribbage hand scoring order
In general the best approach is to count your 15's, then pairs, then runs, then Nobs, then finally flushes. The same approach we use on checking your hands on our servers and gaming program.

Counting 15s in hand
It is a good idea to remember 3 typical pairs, that give you 15 in total
 

 
i.e. 7+8, 6+9, 5+10
If you do not see the above template pairs, but have at least one card from such pairs, you can try to find 3-card combinations to complete the sum to 15 with using the same pattern. For example
 

 
See, we have one card from the above pairs and form the other card as a sum of 2 cards (D3+S4 will give 7). To go futher we can extend this method to 4 and 5 cards. If you cannot find 7s, 8s, or 9s or Try to sum any 2 cards to get
Repeat your search not to omit any combination. Start from the bigger value cards and try to gather 15 to it. For example:
 

 
HQ and DA+S4, D8 and DA+C2+S4
Some cribbage hands cause confusion for people who forget about the low cards in the hand - they can be added to other cards in hand to form the "seed" 7s, 8s, or 9s. Example:
 

 
S8 and H7, S8 and C6+DA, S8 and C6+CA, and the last one - H7 and C6+DA+CA will give you 8 points on 15s. As for this example, there is also a pair of Aces (2 points) and a run 6,7,8 (3 points) - total 13.
The next confusing cribbage hand type for 15s counting is a hand contaning many pairs. For example
 

 
We see, that here we can form pattern "7+8". Just start from every high value card and search for all the others. C8 and C6+DA, C8 and H6+DA, S8 and C6+DA, S8 and H6+DA, 8 points for 15s (and 4 for two pairs). So each card pair simply doubles the initial combination 8,6,A. You will see the same rule later in runs counting.

Counting pairs in hand
It's quite simple, just not to forget to count a pair in your hand after difficult 15s scoring. Remember, that all cards above 10 (J,Q,K) have the same value 10 in cribbage and result a pair in any combination. Also, the royal pair (3 cards of the same rank) can be imagined as 3 simple pairs and thus give the score of 3 pairs, i.e. 2 * 3 = 6 points. The same is for Four of a kind - (4 cards of the same rank) - it is 6 simple pairs, that gives you 2 * 6 = 12 points.

Scoring runs in hand
There is a simple rule for runs in cribbage - how many cards run has - the same number of points you gets. So that single run counting is easy. Some more complicated run is a double run - sometimes people just learning the game don't really understand how a double run works. The idea is that you can count each completely different set of cards that be combined for a run.
 

 
2,3,4 is a run, but you have here H2 and C2, so that, each of them gives you a separate run of 3 cards. You can remember here our rule that each pair in the combination doubles its score points. Run H2,S3,D4 gives 3 points, run C2, S3, D4 gives another 3 points. To use this hand completely let's recount it, first 15s: S9 and D4+H2, S9 and D4+C2 (9-6 pattern) - 4 points for 15s. A pair H2C2 - 2 points, 6+4+2 = 12 points in your hand. Remember, that such a double-run with the lenght of 3 cards gives 8 points automatically - 6 for runs and 2 for the pair
A double-double run (always involves all 5 cards in hand - 4 plus a starter card) itself is worth 16 points, you get 4 times of 3 points = 12 for the runs and 4 for two pairs
 

 
After detecting a double-double run you should concentrate on 15s, having in mind, that 16 points is a standard sum for the double-double run total. In the above example we also have 2 extra points for 15s - sum all the cards in your hand (7+8 pattern).

Scoring flushes
Flushes can give 4 or 5 points - again, on the number of cards in it. 4 points for all four cards in your hand of the same suit and 5 points, if a starter card has the same suit. If you have only 3 cards in your hand of one suit and a starter card of the same suit it will NOT be a flush. Example:
 

 
It would be a co-called bust hand, but we have one suit for all the cards, so it worth 5 poitns.

Scoring Nobs
Pay attention to Jacks in your hand, one of them can give you one extra point if the starter card has the same suit. Let's modify the previous example a little:
 

 
Here we do not have flush now, but with the Hearts suit of the starter HA and a Jack of Hearts in our hand give us 1 point.

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