Snow Day Bonus Math Minute

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Happy Snow Day!  One of my favorite snow day activities is playing cards.  My family enjoys playing pitch,  31, sevens and trash.  Recently, I learned how to play cribbage and it is my new favorite game!  Cribbage involves strategy and math, which is why I like it so much!

How can you spend your Math Minutes this week?
  1. Do you know how to play cribbage?  If so, leave a comment below with a “thing to remember” when playing cribbage.  When leaving a comment, type your first name, grade level, and school (i.e. Trevor, 3, Sunset).  Do not type in your email address.
  2. In cribbage, the Jokers are removed from the deck.  The Ace is worth 1 and the face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) are each worth 10.  The other cards (2 through 9) are each worth their number value.  Here are some of the ways you can earn points playing cribbage:

One of the ways to earn points in cribbage is to have cards that add up to fifteen.  In the picture below, the King and one of the 5’s make 15 so that is 2 points.  The King and the other 5 also make 15, which is another 2 points.  You might notice that there is a 5 that is face up on the deck.  This can also be paired with the King for 15 for another 2 points.  Finally, the three 5’s (2 in the hand and one on the deck) add up to 15.  This is an additional 2 points.

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When you have a pair of the same card, you earn 2 points.  The pair could be in your hand, or one of your cards could be paired with the card that is face up on the deck.  If you have 3-of-a-kind, that is worth 6 points.  In the picture above, there are two 5’s in the hand and one 5 face up on the deck.  Not only does that make 15, but it is also 3-of-a-kind which earns you 6 points.

A “flush” is when you have 4 or more of the same suit (clubs, spades, hearts, or diamonds).  If you had 4 hearts in your hand, you would earn 4 points.  If the card that is face up on the deck is also a heart, you would get 5 points.  The hand below shows 5 clubs so you would get 5 points.

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A “run of 3” is when you have 3 cards in numerical order.  You could also have a run of 4 or 5 cards.  Let’s say you had a 3, 4, 5, and 6 in your hand.  You would have a “run of 4” which is 4 points.  If the card on the deck was a 2 or 7, you would have a run of 5.  The hand below shows a run of 5.

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The pictures below show several cribbage hands.  See if you can add up the points correctly!  Leave a comment with the “hand #” and an explanation of the total points.  You can also post a question if you’re not sure.  Check back often to see if all the hands are correctly totaled.

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3.  What is another way you can earn points in a cribbage game?  Do a little research and post a comment.  Would you be interested in having a cribbage tournament?

46 thoughts on “Snow Day Bonus Math Minute

  1. When you start a game of cribbage, you need to decide whose crib it is. To do this, spread the cards face down. Each player picks a card and whoever’s card is bigger, that’s who has the crib at the beginning of the game.

  2. Another way to score in cribbage is nobs. You score 1 point if you have a Jack with the same suit as the Starter Card.

    You can have 4 cards of a kind, which is worth 12.

    The Go is scored by the last player to lay down a card.

    There are some more ways to score in Cribbage, too. It sounds like a pretty interesting game!

    1. Actually, a go is when a player is unable to put down a card because it goes over 31. Then the other player can move his/her peg forward. But the last player to put down a card does still get a point.

  3. Hand #2 is 8 points from the 5678 run of four and two from queen and a five and finally two more from the seven and the eight.

    1. You’re right Dominic…1 + 9 + 5 = 15, but it’s worth 2 points whether you use 2, 3, or 4 cards to make the sum. Thanks for posting!

    2. No, it actually doesn’t matter how many cards you use, all that matters is that you get 15. You get 2 points no matter what.

    1. Hi Angelina-Thanks for posting! Seven points is right. Can you explain where the points come from (i.e. a pair of 4’s is 2 points, etc.).

    1. You’re right Noelle! The run of 3 in hand 1 (6, 7, 8) is worth 2 points. There’s also a pair and 2 cards that add up to 15. Can you find them?

    1. I think 29 is too many Andrew. Start by counting how many combinations of 15 there are. The king and the 5 make 15. What other cards make 15?

    1. In some card games, you would add up all the points in your hand to get the total which is what you did. However, in cribbage, you’re looking for sums of 15. Do any of the cars in Hand 14 add up to 15? You can also get 2 points for a pair. Do you see a pair of numbers in Hand 14?

    1. Thanks for posting Kylin. When you’re posting on the cribbage hand totals, make sure to explain where the points come from. In Hand 9, are there any cards that add up to 15? Are there any pairs? Are there any cards in a row?

  4. In cribbage a “run of 3″ is when you have 3 cards in numerical order. This game seems really fun. Next time I have time I’m going to try and play it.

  5. Hand 1 is 7 points because you have two fours and cards that add to 15. That is 4 points.
    Then you have a run of 3 which is 3 points.4+3=7.

  6. In hand 3 I found 6 points because the king and 5 are 15, which is 2 points. Then the 10 and 5 is 15, 2 points. Then the 9 and 6 is 15, 2 points.2+2+2=6

  7. In hand 2 there are 5 points because there is a run of 3 (6,7,8) and then the 7 and 8 make 15 and add 2 points, 3+2=5.

  8. A “go” is when one player can’t put down a card because it will make the stack go over 31. The other player then scores a point and can move their peg up.

  9. A run is when you ahave all four cards in numerical order. (Ex: 2,3,4,5 or 7,8,9,10.) You then get four points.

  10. On hand 2 you have a run of 4, (5, 6, 7, 8) = 4 points an eight and 7 = 6 points a queen and a five = 8 points
    hand 2 has 8 points

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