29 Cribbage Board Antics

After a lot of encouragement from Sena, we got the 29-cribbage board. It’s a novelty board shaped like the very rare perfect 29 cribbage hand. You’re more likely to spot aliens in your back yard than to get a 29 hand—the odds are 1 in 216,580. See our 29 cribbage board antics in our YouTube video.

This is a follow up cribbage post, the most recent one being “Kitchen Table Cribbage” featuring our other new board, which was a v-tournament model.

We have a lot of fun playing cribbage and making the videos are a challenge, given that we’re still learning how to play. If we wait for the perfect video (meaning one without mistakes), it would be similar to waiting for the perfect 29 hand to show up.

On the cribbagecorner web site, there are interesting facts about the 29 hand probabilities. According to them, given the assumption that there’s a cribbage tournament somewhere in the United States almost daily, you should expect to see one 29 hand a year during tournament play.

One the other hand, there are many cribbage games, including kitchen table versions, occurring daily between commoners like us. Who knows how many 29 hands show up in all those unofficial competitions?

We’re not shy about comments from cribbage players helping us develop our skills. I suppose another way to do that would be to join a cribbage club. The American Cribbage Congress (ACC) sponsors the ACC Grass Roots organizations which has about 200 such clubs across North America.

Players in the ACC Grass Roots clubs compete to earn points for awards including being crowned champion and for getting 29 hand. There is one ACC Grass Roots club in Iowa and it’s in Ankeny. It’s called the Capital City 9-game club (given that most club members get together to play 9 games about once a week or so).

Just for the record, the capital city of Iowa is Des Moines. Ankeny is about 13 miles north of there. If we were to join the Capital City club, that would mean about a 2-hour drive from Iowa City. Since the season runs from September to May, we’d be driving in winter weather conditions sometimes.

If you earn enough lifetime milestone points in the ACC Grass Roots club, you can earn a trip to big tournaments such as the annual ACC Tournament of Champions, usually held in Reno, Nevada. However, the ACC announcement says the 2020 Grand National tournament XXXIX will be in Sacramento from September 22-27, 2020. The first-place trophy is a gold pan. The last time anybody from Iowa won it was in 1990. He was from Des Moines.

The obvious question is why isn’t there an ACC Grass Roots club in Iowa City? I don’t know if there is enough interest, frankly. I did see a small 29 cribbage board at a local hobby shop here. It fit in the palm of my hand. The one we just got works out better for us.

I just found out that National Cribbage Day is celebrated annually on February 10, which is just around the corner! February 10 happens to be the birthday of Sir John Suckling, the creator of cribbage in the early 17th century. He was also a poet. According to the Poetry Foundation web page for him, his poetry showed him to be a cynical party animal, womanizer, and gambler. He invented cribbage from an earlier game called Noddy and it was gambling game. I gather it’s still the only game that can be play in an English pub for money. Cribbage came to American with the first English settlers.

Can you tell we really like playing cribbage? Please, no wagering.

Author: James Amos

I'm a retired consult-liaison psychiatrist. I navigated the path in a phased retirement program through the hospital where I was employed. I was fully retired as of June 30, 2020. This blog chronicles my journey.

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