Helen Bolton loved playing cribbage. She was famous for being able to hold two conversations at the same time, whilst enjoying a bottle of red and winning the cribbage crown…all at the same time.

In her memory, and with smiles on our faces, we continue to hold the Helen Bolton Charity Cribbage Tournament.

The Details

Date: Sunday 16 February 2025
Time: 15.00 to 19.30
Venue: The Retreat, 8 St John’s Street, Reading, RG1 4EH

16 teams of 2 (32 players in total)
£5 per player/£10 per team
8 tables to start
4-round, 3 games per round knockout
Spectators welcome

Proceeds this year are going to the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading. The wonderful staff at the hospice provide an amazing service that Helen’s children, Charlie and Tilly, would like to support.

Spectators are welcome.

Cribbage Tournament Rules

Scoring During Play

A player who makes any of the following scores during the play pegs them immediately:

Two For Doing Him
If the start card turned over at the commencement of the hand is a Jack, the dealer pegs, “2 for doing him”.

If you play a card which brings the total to 15, you peg 2 claiming, “fifteen two”.

As mentioned above, if you play a card which brings the total to exactly 31, you peg 2.

If you play a card of the same rank as the previous card (e.g. a King after a King) you peg 2 for a pair.

Pair Royal
If immediately after a pair a third card of the same rank is played, the player of the third card scores 6 for pair royal.

Double Pair Royal
Four cards of the same rank played in immediate succession. The player of the fourth card scores 12.

A run, or sequence is a set of 3 or more cards of consecutive ranks (irrespective of suit) – such as 9-10-Jack or 2-3-4-5. The cards do not have to be played in order, but no other cards must intervene. Score equals to a number of cards in a run.

Last Card
If neither player manages to make the total exactly 31, whoever played the last card pegs 1.

The Show

All of the cards that were put down during the play are now retrieved and score for combinations of cards held in hand. First, the non-dealer’s hand is exposed and scored. The start card also counts as part of the hand when scoring combinations. All valid scores from the following list are counted.

Any combination of cards adding up to 15 pips scores 2 points. For example, King-Jack- Five-Five would count 8 points (four fifteens as the King and the Jack can each be paired with either Five). This combination would be marked as, “fifteen: eight”.

A pair of cards of the same rank score 2 points. Three cards of the same rank contain 3 different pairs and thus score a total of 6 points for pair royal. Four of a kind contain 6 pairs and so score 12 points.

Three cards of consecutive rank (irrespective of suit), such as Ace-2-3, score 3 points for a run. A hand such as 6-7-7-8 contains two runs of 3 (as well as two fifteens and a pair) and so would score 12 altogether. A run of four cards, such as 9-10-J-Q scores 4 points (this is slightly illogical; you might expect it to score 6 because it contains two runs of 3, but it doesn’t. The runs of 3 within it don’t count, you just get 4), and a run of five cards scores 5.

If all four cards of the hand are the same suit, 4 points are scored for flush (only in hands, not in crib). If the start card is the same suit as well, the flush is worth 5 points. There is no score for having 3 hand cards and the start all the same suit. Note also that there is no score for flush during the play – it only counts in the show.

One For His Nob
If the hand contains the Jack of the same suit as the start card, you peg One for his nob. After a non-dealer’s hand has been shown and the score pegged, dealer’s hand is shown, scored and pegged in the same way.

Finally, the dealer exposes the four cards of the crib and scores them with the start card. The scoring is the same as for the players’ hands except that a flush in the crib only scores if all four crib cards and the start card are of the same suit. If that happens the flush scores 5.

Specific to this Tournament

This is a friendly tournament, but will adopt the rules above. We will not be using the Muggins rule.

Any disputes about the rules and their interpretation will be adjudicated by one of the organisers. In the event of a split decision we may use a game of “stone, paper, scissors,” to decide (but Robert wouldn’t like that).

Cribbage Rules to download

Entry form (and enquiries)

Use the form below for entries or enquiries.