What Does the ‘skunk’ in cribbage mean?

So, you’ve been playing cribbage for a while, and started to wonder what the “S” on your board means. If you’re using a Crisloid Imperial Board, you’re probably also wondering why there are actual skunks in the center of the board.

So what’s a skunk?

A skunk in cribbage happens when a player wins by 31 points or more. For example, if he scores 121 or more points when his opponent has 90 or less, it’s a skunk, which counts as two games. There’s also a double skunk when you win by 61 points, it’s worth 3 games. A triple skunk, when a game is won by 91-points or more, is a huge longshot that rarely occurs. If your opponent can’t score 30 points before you reach 121, they are either throwing the game or have the worst luck in cribbage history.

Cribbage board designs

Most cribbage boards have peg holes grouped in fives so to see if there’s a skunk simply count the six groups of peg holes between your current score and the end.

Some cribbage boards mark the skunk lines (and sometimes the double skunk lines) with an “S” or just a line. If you see a mark between peg hole 90 and 91, that’s the board’s way of marking the skunk line. Crisloid adds a little flair to our boards with actual skunks on the peg board to create a more friendly competitive edge to the game. There’s no hiding from the skunk on our cribbage board!

Casual and tournament play skunks

For casual players, skunks and double skunks aren’t a big deal except for fun of rubbing it in that you’ve skunked your opponent. If you’re playing a multiple game match, the skunk will generally count as two games won.

But in tournament play, skunking your opponent or getting skunked can make a big impact on winning. Some leagues give added value to games won by skunking. For example, the American Cribbage Congress tournament rules state that games won by skunking are worth three game points instead of the normal two just for winning. That extra game point could be a big deal at the end of the tournament in determining the winner.

At Crisloid, we’re all about making classic games fun and that’s true origin of our cribbage skunks. The trio of skunks on our Imperial Cribbage Board are set into durable, hardwood cherry that will stand up to decades of gameplay and hopefully not too many skunks against you.

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