Designed by David L. Van Slyke
Players 2
Length Long
Extra Material Cribbage board and pegs

a Decktet game for two players and using a cribbage board


Randomly determine who is the dealer the first round; on subsequent rounds alternate who is the dealer. The dealer shuffles an extended Decktet and deals out six cards to each player. Then each player selects two cards to contribute to a set of four cards belonging to the dealer named the "crib". Finally, the non-dealer cuts the remainder of the deck; the dealer completes the cut and turns over the top card.

Game play

Suit Casing
The non-dealer starts making the first "suit attempt". A suit attempt is when players alternate setting cards face-up in front of them but cannot use a suit twice and thus may need to say "pass". If your opponent passes but you can play additional cards into that suit attempt you must do so. As cards are played scoring events happen (see below). A special bonus of 1 point is given to the last player able to play in each suit attempt; the other player initiates the next suit attempt.

Note: Unlike traditional Cribbage, once the suit attempt's sum passes 11 there is no reason to keep track of the sum.

Note: Like traditional Cribbage, consider consecutive cards played when looking for runs, pairs, and of-a-kinds. If you have a pair in your hand these will probably not be consecutive (unless your opponent passes so you can and do play the second directly after the first) and thus probably not scored until the next phase of "Cleaning Hands".

Note: Like traditional Cribbage, there is a clean slate at the start of each suit attempt regarding pairs and runs.

Cleaning Hands
Both players pick up their hand of four cards and use it for a second rendition of scoring events (see below). The top card on the deck also counts for each hand, so these are really hands of five cards. The non-dealer evaluates his or her hand first. Then the dealer evaluates his or her hand, and then the crib.

Scoring Events
When scoring the Excuse has a rank of zero and no suit (useful with scoring events of sums of 11) and Pawns have no rank but three suits (irrelevant to runs and sums of 11 but valid for pairs and of-a-kinds). The following events score points:
(a) sum of 11 (1 point)
(b) pairs (2 points) — so counting the combinations we also get: 3-of-a-kind is 6 points, 4-of-a-kind is 12 points, and 5-of-a-kind is 20 points
(c) runs of three or more cards (# of cards)
(d) a complete suit-meld containing all six suits (6 points)

Note: As with traditional Cribbage, all combinations of scoring events are considered. Thus a hand of cards containing a 4, a 5, and all three 6's is worth a total of at least 24 points as follows:
(a) 3 points for sums of 11 (the 5 with each 6)
(b) 6 points for 3-of-a-kind (the three 6's)
(c) 9 points for three three-card runs (4, 5, and each 6)
(d) 6 points for a complete meld (the three 6's) [and depending upon the 4 and 5 more complete melds may be possible]

Play rounds of dealing, suit casing, and cleaning hands until a player reaches or passes 121 points to immediately win. Use a Cribbage board to keep score.

Note: Because the game is significantly influenced by luck, traditional Cribbage also uses meta-scoring. A player is skunked if at 61 to 90 points when the opponent wins, and double skunked if at 60 points or less. Continuing this tradition is optional but can be fun. If used by family members try agreeing before playing who, if first skunked, will have to do a certain household chore or owe the opponent a foot rub.

The Extended Deck

(Normally used)


It is suggested to allow "muggins" in which a player scores any points overlooked by his or her opponent. If you use muggins then also including the following random events as 2-point scoring events for the dealer keeps players alert: "Sky High" (top card on the deck is the Excuse), "So Low" (top card on the deck is a Pawn), and "Royal Clique" (top card on the deck both last round and this round is a Crown).


Thanks go to Nathan Brown for play testing.



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