What’s the highest score in Cribbage ?

3D Round Shape 4 Stepped Tracks Continuous Cribbage Board in Bloodwood / Maple / Teak / Rosewood with Skunks & Corners
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Cribbage Statistics

Most cribbage player knows that 29 is the highest-scoring hand that one can get, and that 19 and some others are impossible to score.


This article gives you some cribbage in depth statistics

 

Best hand in Cribbage or, the famous 29 points hand.

The highest score you can make is 29 (555 J in hand with the starter 5 of the same suit as the Jack – for « One For His Nob »).

The odds of getting a 29 Cribbage hand are 1 in 216,580, it is the best hand in Cribbage you can get, but, there’s chances you’ll never make it.

Cribbage 28 hand

The second highest score is obviously 28 (any of 10,J,Q,K and 5555 in hand and starter excepting the above 29 hand)

The odds of getting a 28 Cribbage hand are 1 in 15,028.

Cribbage 24 hand

The next highest is 24 (A7777, 33339, 36666, 44447, 44556, 44566, 45566, 67788, 77889).

Impossible cribbage hands

Scores of 27, 26, 25 and 19 are impossible in hand point totals in Cribbage. There is no combination of 5 cards that will produce a score of such number of points.


The usual joke is when a Cribbage player scores 0 points in his hand, he will claim he has a « 19 hand. »

Cribbage hands

There are 12,994,800 possible cribbage hands, including the cut card. . The average score is calculated as 4.77 points mathematically. In the real hand statistics this number of points is higher, since players have some control over their hands through the discard

Dealer and Pone average hands

The average hand for the dealer who needs to think about scoring of his own crib is lower than the average hand for pone.

According to the real Cribbage hand statistics they are about 7.95 points for dealer and about 8.10 points for pone.

Crib

According to the real Cribbage cribs statistics the average crib score is about 4,65

The highest dealer score for a hand and a crib

The highest score (excluding pegging) for a dealer is 53. The starter must be a 5, and one hand must have J555 while the other has 4466. The first being a 29 (With the right Jack) and the second being 24.

The highest combined count of the dealer’s hand, pegging, and crib

The highest combined count of the dealer’s hand, pegging, and crib is 78 according to Joe O’Brien. Dealer hand 3,3,4,4 ; Pone hand 3,3,4,4 and Crib: J,5,5,5. The turn card is 5 of the same suit as the Jack in crib.

Pegging minimal points

The dealer will always peg at least one point during the pegging stage. If pone is able to play at each turn then dealer must score at least one for « last », if not, then dealer scores at least one for « go ».

Average pegging

It is generally known that the dealer outpegs the pone during the average hand. According to games statistics the dealer pegs an average of 3.5 points per hand, while pone pegs an average of only 2.1 points.

Average sum points

The dealer can expect to score about 16 points on each hand (including crib and pegging), and pone can expect to score approximately 10 points (including pegging).

Pegging maximal score

Joe O’Brien showed, that dealer can score 30 points (not 26 points as we stated before with a dealer’s hand 4,4,4,7, pone’s hand 4,8,10,K, and the jack as a starter). In Joe’s example Dealer hand 7,7,4,4 ; Pone hand 7,7,4,4. Sequence of play is as follows:
Pone 7 7 4 4
Dealer 7 7 4 4
Dealer Points 2 13 2 13
Dealer Totals 2 15 17 30

Update – Joe O’Brien showed that there is a hand that will give the pone a total of 24 in pegging. The Pone holding 5 5 4 4, and the Dealer holding 5 4 4 (na/).

The Pone hits both the fifteen and the thirty-one, picking up a triple at the 15 mark and a pair and four of a kind on the way to the thirty-one mark.

Kyle Graham showed, that pone can score 22 points (in opposite to other articles, that states max pone score is 18 points).

Pone’s hand: A, A, 3, 3; Dealer’s hand A, 3, 3, NA. The sequence of play is A, A, A, 3, 3, 3, 3, NA; Pone gets 6+2+14 = 22 points.

Later our player Kenneth Anderson showed, that the maximum cribbage scoring for Pone pegging is 23.

Pone’s hand: 5 (or 6) 4 4 4; Dealer’s hand: 5 (or 6) 4 9 9 (9 9 could be any cards worth 9 or above). Total Pone points: 5+6+12 = 23 .