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An unusual Cribbage board

An unusual Cribbage board
An unusual Cribbage board
An unusual Cribbage board

Hello All,

I hope you are all well.

I'm after your thoughts on a cribbage board I recently acquired.

If the pictures have uploaded you will see that it's quite unique. It's small, around 8" long and 3" wide. Now here's the thing, it only has 51 holes on each side, two rows of 25 plus the start and finish holes... I currently use it for Solitaire Cribbage and was wondering if that was it's primary use. Or maybe there's a variation of cribbage I don't yet know about.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Best regards

Andrew Barrett


Tony Hall's Avatar'

As you know I have in excess of 150 boards and have researched the game extensively. I have not come across any recognised form of the game which uses 50 rather than 60 holes (plus the peg-out hole, of course). Originally the game was played to 61; more recently to 121 (twice round a standard board). However, I have one board, in brass, which also has 50 holes. It is possible, but unlikely, that both boards were designed for a different game altogether of which we know nothing. This seems unlikely, given the similarity of structure to the crib board layout. I suspect that both Andrew’s board and mine were made by amateur craftsmen, making the boards from memory, who simply got the number of holes wrong, or couldn’t fit them within the limitations of the material they were working with. It may be that the maker simply fancied a shorter version of the standard game. This notion is borne out by the fact that some of the holes in Andrew’s board are not correctly aligned. The no alignment of holes is usually a sure sign of amateur manufacture. It is extremely difficult to align all the holes correctly, but I have never seen a commercially produced one which had this feature. One should not assume that just because a board is well made, that it could not be homemade. I have some immaculately made boards which clearly were put together in somebodies shed. There used to be a lot of very skilled craftsmen out there!

There may be another explanation but I don’t know what it is.

Hope this is helpful.

Andrew Barrett's Avatar'

Thank you for your thoughts Tony (I was hoping that you would cast your experienced eye over it).
The material inside, I think, is bakelite. So I think you're correct in saying that someone very talented made it and in saying that they wanted a shorter game. I think with the amount of work they put in, they knew the game but just wanted to make it shorter. It is handy for me in my Solitaire Cribbage game, as I can't get above 100!

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