Sasquatch Cribbage Board Game!

Today was the inaugural game on our new Sasquatch cribbage board. It’s a very handsome item, made of walnut by the maker, David Sprouse, in Ferndale, Washington. His website is 3MoonsMakerSpace and he markets the boards on Etsy. It was delivered only a couple of weeks ago. It came with pegs and deck of cards. It has a hole in the back for hanging on a wall, if you want.

We played the game to 61 just for the sake of brevity since the point was to show off the board itself.

I don’t know really what to make of Bigfoot stories. Many claim to have spotted the creature way out in places like Washington state and elsewhere. There are reports of a few sightings even in Iowa.

I wonder why you never find corpses or even fossils of Sasquatch? Probably because extraterrestrials beam them up too quickly in order to harvest the fur for throw rugs for their space ships. The usual problem, of course, is getting the smell of beef jerky out of them.

Earth Shaking Announcements!

I have announcements that you don’t want to miss! We got our Sasquatch cribbage board and it is gorgeous. We hope to have a YouTube video of us playing a game in a day or two.

The Amaryllis Star of Holland continues to open, almost before our eyes. It’ll probably be in full bloom before Christmas.

I have been working so hard on my juggling practice, trying to get so I can do a behind the back throw—I got a bruise on my right wrist without even realizing it. I must have got smacked by the ball. More on the agony and the steady but slow progress coming soon!

Jokers Wild in Cribbage!

We tried out using jokers wild in cribbage yesterday. Sena won best of 3 games, even though I was dealt the joker the most times. I had the joker at least 4 or 5 times. On the last hand of the third deal, she won because she had a joker.

What do I have to do?

Playing cribbage with jokers wild might increase the chances of getting a 29 hand. It would be a quest, similar to playing Seven Card Cribbage to see if I could again make myself believe I could score 19, which is normally equal to zero in regular cribbage because 19 is impossible to score.

Impossible. I’ll tell you what’s impossible; it’s impossible to win any cribbage game with Sena. Therefore, my quest will be to win. I will be the Don Quixote of cribbage with Sena.

Fun Cribbage Variations!

We’re trying out some cribbage variations. One of them is the old 5-card variant that was probably the original version of cribbage. That makes it historically important. I think it might still be the preferred version in some regions of Britain and Australia. It’s simpler to play and is faster. You play to 6, but pegging stops every time you get a 31 or a GO. The non-dealer gets to peg 3 points at the first deal.

We also played seven card cribbage, which presents a ton of opportunities for scoring. I know that every expert says there is no way to score 19 (or 25, 26, or 27) in cribbage, but both Sena and I thought I got a hand score of 19. We counted it three times. Could one more card make that possible? The highest possible score is 46! The rules are outlined here.

Did you know there’s a song about cribbage? I didn’t either until yesterday. I hear one line in the song, “19 in the box.” I looked up “in the box” and it means generally to be in a bad situation. That makes sense because that essentially means you got zero points in your hand. Maybe I’m making a mondegreen out of it.

Announcements!

Hey, I got best 2 out of 3 cribbage games last night. Sena got skunked! That is rare.

Our Sasquatch cribbage board just shipped yesterday. It’ll arrive in a few days!

The Amaryllis Star of Holland grows by about a half inch or more a day. It’s now almost 14 inches tall!

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!

Chicago Cribbage Rematch 2022!

Since it has been almost a year since we last played Chicago Cribbage, we decided it was high time to break the laws of cribbage again. Short story—I won this year. Sena won last year, so we’re even.

We played to 61 because the game can take an eternity to play using the Chicago cards: Deal Again, Cut Again, No Fifteens, Trade Hands, and Reverse Count. Each player gets 7, two each of the Deal Again and Cut Again. See the web page for the full rules.

 The Chicago Cribbage 7 is now your license to cheat. You can demand to deal again and cut again at will if you don’t like your cards. The other Chicago cards are even more brutal.

You can deal again and cut again all you want, but you’re screwed if Reverse Count is played. However, the damage you cause for your opponent by playing the Reverse Count, while cruel, be mitigated by your opponent playing the No Fifteens card. If you can’t count fifteens, you can’t count backwards. Playing the Trade Hands card can backfire in a big way, trust me. You win by being merciless.

The artwork on the cards fits the criminal theme of the gameplay. There are pictures of gangsters and gun molls.

By the way, a few words about the background picture of Crystal Gardens in the video. It is or maybe it’s more accurate to say it was at Navy Pier. When we vacationed in Chicago in 2007, we went to Navy Pier, but neither of us can recall actually going to the Crystal Gardens.

When we searched the web, we discovered that we had missed what many Chicagoans felt was a Chicago icon. Thousands signed a petition protesting the plan to close Crystal Gardens as described in a web article in 2021. The plan is to replace it with something called the “Digital Entertainment Experience.”

That sounds like something anybody who has a smartphone can get these days.

We have a lot of fun playing Chicago Cribbage—although it can be a little frustrating. Give it a try for a change of pace!

I Got Skunked in Cribbage!

It’s not common to get skunked in cribbage—but it happened to me yesterday. Sena has a way of getting very high scoring hands and this led to her winning the first of three games in a big way.

I was stuck well behind the skunk line. This led to some questions by both of us as to what exactly happens in a tournament when a player gets stuck behind the 91-hole on the peg board after the opponent reaches the winning 121 hole.

The American Cribbage Congress (ACC) website says the winner gets 2 points. I think that’s because the scoring in tournaments is done by points.

Other references say that the winner gets 2 games. That means something if you’re playing the best out of, say, 3 games and the like.

There is such a thing as a double skunk, which is getting stuck behind the 61-hole after the opponent reaches 121. Then the winning opponent wins 3 games.

Many cribbage boards will not mark where the skunk and double skunk holes are. Tournament board makers often don’t mark them—but will if you ask them to do so.

We have a so-called tournament V-tournament board which marks both skunk and double skunk lines. You can see the V-shaped track on it, which is supposed to help players avoid pegging errors.

This reminds me to mention the brand-new Sasquatch cribbage board we just ordered. It’ll be a hand-carved walnut board in a circular shape. Sasquatch will be carved in a deep 3-D relief. We are very excited about it. We hope it arrives around Christmas time. There will be no skunk lines.

By the way, I ended up winning two of three games because we typically ignore the skunk rule.

My Cribbage Losing Streak and My Review of the Cribbage Classic Computer Game

Sena and I played cribbage yesterday and, of course she won. She has been on a spectacular winning streak. She got a hand score of 21. I don’t know what I’m going to have to do to come up with a win. Cheat? I could keep extra cards up my sleeves and elsewhere, but I doubt it would help much.

I downloaded the Cribbage Classic computer game, the on-line version of which I reviewed recently. The game was made by Jeff Cole and is available for free on the Microsoft Store. And it’s fun to play–although it’s always more fun to play cribbage with a real person.

I think it’s a good game for learning how to play if you’re a beginner or to relearn if you haven’t played in a while and need a refresher. I still make suboptimal tosses to the crib, which the computer reminds me about every single time. I reviewed the game using a screen recorder.

Cribbage Classic on the Web

I’ve been playing an on-line version of the cribbage game called Cribbage Classic for a short while. This is a short review. I’m far from an expert. Sena and I play cribbage fairly often. We just played a set of 3 games not long ago and we both played very well, I thought. I had picked up a few pointers from Cribbage Classic, but didn’t do much better than I usually do. In fact, we usually play 2 or 3 games, the 3rd to break the tie in order to be the “best of the best of the best—sir!” I lost the 3rd game but had so much fun playing I didn’t mind.

Anyway, Cribbage Classic is a no-nonsense web-based cribbage game which teaches you not only the fundamentals of the game, but also analyses your play with respect to the two features over which you have a modicum of control: the discard to the crib and pegging. It critiques your discards and pegging play and it tracks your improvement (or lack thereof) over the number of games you play.

Cribbage Classic also has a discard analyzer, which allows you to look at large numbers of possible crib discards while the computer tells you the optimal discard for each hand.

There are 3 levels of play, Easy, Standard, and Pro. It allows you to count your hands manually and even play Muggins along with that. One of the most helpful features is the setting which warns you of suboptimal crib discards—and allows you to try again! There’s a hint button setting for all levels.  

Best of all, it’s free! Ads are minimal. And if your internet service goes out, you could download the game from Microsoft Store, also for free. It gets only a 3-star rating, though. I guess that’s why I haven’t downloaded it. There are many more reviews (over 600 when I checked recently) for this game on line than the two other cribbage games I’ve downloaded. Many critics say it favors the computer opponent. That hasn’t been my impression so far from the on-line version, though I haven’t played at the Pro level.

The graphics are simple. There are no cute character opponents, no sounds, and the card and background selection options are not fancy. It’s advertised for Windows 10 and it works fine on my computer which has Windows 11.

I’ve tried fancy cribbage games and it seems I either win every game or lose all of them—which is not realistic. Cribbage Classic is realistic, meaning on average you’ll win about half the time. That means when I make crappy crib discards, I sometimes win in spite of them and when I make great discards using the hint button as a crutch, I sometimes lose anyway.

I make lousy crib discards so much, it’s a little embarrassing. On average, I make about 5 or more bad tosses to the discard pile every game. I guess some players would contest the computer suggestions. The points the computer says you lose on some discards can amount to only a couple of tenths of a point, which I think I can ignore.

I’ll consider trying the download version of Cribbage Classic and let you know if I think it’s really different from the web-based product. In the meantime, if you like cribbage, why not try Cribbage Classic on the web and let me know what you think?

FDA Authorizes Bivalent Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Dose Today

The FDA announced the EUA authorization this morning of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent Omicron Covid-19 Vaccine Booster Dose.

CDC-ACIP meeting starts tomorrow for evaluation of the booster doses.

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