Rules for CRIBBAGE


  1. Type of Game
  2. Players
  3. Balls Used
  4. The Rack
  5. Object of the Game
  6. Scoring
  7. Opening Break
  8. Rules of Play
  9. Illegally Pocket Ball
  10. Jumped Object Ball
  11. Cue Ball After Jump or Scratch
  12. Penalty for Fouls

Except when clearly contradicted by these additional rules, the General Rules of Pocket Billiards apply.

Type of Game

Something that maybe ought to be British. To make a count the shooter must, on one or two strokes, sink two balls whose numbers add to fifteen.


Individuals, or teams.

Balls Used

Object balls numbered 1-15, plus the cue ball.

The Rack

Standard triangle rack with the apex on the foot spot and the 15-ball in the center of the triangle (as the 8 is in 8-ball). Other balls are placed randomly.

Object of the Game

To have the most cribbages (pairs of balls which add to 15 or the 15 itself) when the table has been cleared.


A cribbage is legally scored when a pair of balls are sunk which add to 15. Usually this is done in two strokes with each ball of the pair being made on each stroke (a ball must be made to continue shooting). Both balls making a cribbage are allowed to be sunk on a single stroke though.

Opening Break

The opening break must drive at least four object balls to a cushion (doesn't have to be the same cushion!). If this doesn't happen opponent has option of re-break or taking balls as they sit.

Rules of Play

The 15-ball can't count as a cribbage, or legal shot, until all pairs adding to 15 have been taken from the table. Player's first stroke on a cribbage try can use combinations to sink the called object ball. If the called object ball is sunk and nothing else falls player must, on his next stroke, sink the second ball of the cribbage cleanly (that ball can't touch another object ball) in a called pocket. If the second object ball is missed the first object ball of the cribbage try will be spotted and the shooter's turn finished. If more than one object ball is sunk when calling the first ball of a cribbage all balls will be spotted and the shooter's turn ended unless the only other ball sunk was the second ball of the cribbage pair.

(A twist on the game is to play to a set number of cribbages, say 15 or 20, and use the 15-ball as the break ball in 14.1 Continuous.)

Illegally Pocketed Ball

Any illegally pocketed balls will be spotted, in numerical order with lowest numbered ball closest to the foot spot.

Jumped Object Ball

Any object balls which leave the playing surface (and don't return to it) will be spotted, in numerical order with the lowest ball closest to the foot spot.

Cue Ball After Jump or Scratch

Will be put into play from behind the head string. (Shooter must play out of the kitchen.) Penalty for Fouls Offending player must spot one of his cribbages or (if he has no pair to spot) owe the table a cribbage. The cribbage will be spotted with lowest ball closest to the foot spot.

Cue ball will stay as is or be put in play from the kitchen depending on nature of foul. "Touch" fouls will have cue ball played from where it sits. A scratch or jumped cue ball will be played out of the kitchen.

These rules are used by Billy Aardd's Club, NMIMT, Socorro, NM.