We finally got our Zombie Cribbage game the other day. We also got a Chicago Cribbage set, which doesn’t come with a board or pegs, but has a gorgeous full set of 52 in-pack cards along with wild cards allowing you to get an edge on your opponent—maybe.
The zombie pegs themselves are pretty small, but fit surprisingly well in the peg holes in the folding 61-hole plastic peg board. The zombie figures are in various dramatically spastic attitudes which zombies typically have when fighting over who get the brains. One of them is missing an arm, but that’s completely normal for zombies. The face cards have brightly colored zombie heads.
We’re still trying to figure out how to play the jokers included in the deck for the wild card gameplay variations, which include Lowdown Zombies, Reveal Your Zombies and Zombies, Run!
However, it’s not hard to mix the Chicago Cribbage wild cards with the Zombie cribbage game. You can find the rules for using Chicago Cards on the web, which like the cards in the included 52 card deck, are decorated in a colorful a 1930’s style gangster theme.
You can tell from the names of the Chicago Cards what they allow players to do: Deal Again, Cut Again, Reverse Counting, No Fifteens, and Trade Hands. When you play the Reverse Counting card, you can tell your opponent, “Walk like a zombie—only backwards!”
The makers of the Chicago Cribbage game variation say you can play it in 30 minutes. It took us over twice that long to finish a game marked by back and forth sniping with the Reverse Counting cards (each player gets one of these) on every deal. You might be surprised at how seldom that works to set your opponent back, especially if you counter with the No Fifteens card. We sometimes end up inching forward and backward only a few peg holes.
You have to know how to play regular cribbage to play both Zombie Cribbage and Chicago Cribbage. As someone once said, cribbage is a game that takes an hour to learn but years to master. Opinions differ on how much luck and skill are involved. Some say it’s 50% luck and 50% skill. Others who play at the tournament level, like those in the American Cribbage Congress (ACC), say there’s a lot more skill involved than you think.
Sometimes, playing all your Chicago Cards might not give you the edge that you hope for. In order to get the perfect hand, you can use both of your Deal Again and Cut Again cards–and not get much. Then what?
Play the cards you’re dealt.