Vintage Cribbage Boards

When it’s not over until it’s over.

Antique Cribbage Boards

Theresa’s father, Damian, is a cribbage player. Cribbage is a two-player game played with cards and a cribbage board. It’s also a counting game, which explains why Theresa and I don’t play. But our son, Andrew, has picked up on it and gives Damian a run for his money. The game was passed down from family members and Damian and his brothers and brothers-in-laws play whenever they get the chance. A game only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

Cribbage has been around since the 17th century and it’s still very popular. Service men played the game to pass the time. While the game is quick and as Damian says, “it’s the best card game ever”, what we’re drawn to is the actual board. It’s a scoring board with streets of holes. It’s scored by moving pegs as a hand is played. Scoring occurs throughout the game; play a hand, and move your peg in a leap frog fashion. The game count goes to 121 and there are four streets to be played before the end of the game. While it helps to know how your opponent plays, luck and strategy go hand in hand in cribbage. You cannot guess the outcome. The crib most likely will determine the winner. And whatever you do, Damian advises “don’t get behind in that third row.”

Our shopping trips are a lot like cribbage. We go to these giant fairs, walking up and down the “streets of antiques” leapfrogging over our opponents to try and find the hidden gems. In England, on our latest trip, we found great vintage boards made with a variety of inlays and wonderful designs. Ones with the pegs are harder to find. But we like the idea of a collection of boards because of their decorative value and their cost is a lot lower than other kinds of game boards, i.e. inlay chess boards.

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