Cribbage Book Arrives

I finally got DeLynn Colvert’s book Play Winning Cribbage yesterday after it traveled a circuitous delivery route starting in Missoula, Montana, and seemingly stopping at several U.S. Postal Service carrier facilities along the way—some of them in the reverse direction from the destination.

The book is the 5th edition, updated as of 2015 (not 2018 as Amazon advertises). On the cover is, presumably, an illustration of Sir John Suckling, (who invented cribbage almost 400 years ago) holding a tournament cribbage board which was designed by Colvert himself. We have one in our small collection. He not only wrote the book but did all the illustrations as well. It was originally published in 1980. In a sense, it’s sort of a vintage item (like the old calculator next to it in the picture).

Tournament cribbage board

As the cover indicates, he was the No. 1 Ranked Player for 26 years, a 4-time National Champion, and was inducted into the Cribbage Hall of Fame in 1989.

I’ve just started reading it. It’s pretty entertaining. A cribbage master named Frank Lake once said cribbage is 85% luck. That’s from an Oregon news item published on line in 2005 in The Bulletin. Frank was 83 years old at the time and the story mentions Delynn Colvert who played cribbage with Frank for 20 years. Colvert said Frank was a good player although age was starting to take a toll on his game.

I’m not sure whether Colvert would have agreed with Lake’s opinion about how big a role luck plays in cribbage. He has many tips for improving skillful play and even came up with a special “Twenty-Six Theory” about the game. If applied consistently, the theory is said to improve a player’s winning average by 6%. It doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re into tournament play, it is the winning edge. I haven’t read that chapter yet and I don’t have aspirations to be a tournament player.

But perhaps you do?

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