700 Cribbage Boards and Counting

Civil War-era boards; brass inlaid on wood.

Not long ago I received an email titled “I Know More About Cribbage Boards Than You Do.” It was from a man named Peter Leach, a fellow St. Paulite with a penchant for pegging. A few weeks earlier, I was invited to speak at the annual Cribbage Board Collectors Society  convention in Grand Haven, Michigan, but instead had to settle for sending them an open letter. Peter responded with gusto—he invited me over for a beer and a sandwich on a chilly Friday evening, and we swapped a few stories before breaking into his collection of boards. “When I started, I never–underlined and capitalized ‘never’–I NEVER could have envisioned the variety,” he says, “There’s no end to them, simply no end.” After seeing his collection, I have to agree with him. Continue reading


Field Research at Lyon’s Pub, Minneapolis

Any endeavor benefits from some fresh air once in a while. I’m so entrenched in research and writing that I often forget to take it easy, breathe a bit, and walk a little lighter. Lucky for me I remembered that on Friday. As I was leaving a downtown appointment on my way to catch the light rail into St. Paul, I passed a few gentleman playing crib outside Lyon’s Pub. It was a beautiful day, start of the holiday weekend, and I strolled on, thinking, “smart guys.” Half a block away I stopped, decided I had plenty of time to kill, and turned around, heading back down 6th street toward Hennepin Avenue and Lyon’s Pub. Continue reading

Cribbage in the Field Update

We’ve added one more crib-world entity to the lineup! Joining us at Cribbage in the Field will be Tony Nelson, creator of a fantastic variation of the game known as CrossCribb. Voted by the Chicago Tribune as one of the top 10 new card/board games a few years back, CrossCribb “uses conventional cribbage scoring rules as you try to build five high scoring cribbage hands while simultaneously sabotaging your opponents’ hands.”

As variations go, it works well; anyone familiar with the basic rules of cribbage will immediately understand how CrossCribb works. Played on a 5×5 grid, players take turns drawing one card at a time and laying it onto the grid; one players score vertically, the other horizontally, so players must keep a keen eye on the scoreboard as both competitors try for the best hands while sabotaging their opponents’. CrossCribb is a fantastic addition to our Open Field event!

Hope you can make it!