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Publish date 2/27/2007


Kathy Pacocha, right, watches her opponent, Ron Hattan, during a game of cribbage on Thursday evening at the Cloverleaf dog track. The players are members of the Loveland Cribbage Club, which in its second week already has more than 30 players. Reporter-Herald/Eric Bellamy

 New cribbage club in Loveland has card players pegged
Mountain View Peggers meet every Thursday at dog track


 Troy Thorson’s grandparents taught him how to play cribbage when he was 11 years old.

“They had a big cribbage board hanging on the wall,” the Loveland man said. “I said, ‘Let’s play that game, Grandma.’”

He didn’t start playing competitive cribbage until the end of college. But now he’s hooked.

And from the looks of the crowd gathering at the cribbage club he started two weeks ago in Loveland, he’s not the only one.

“It’s one of those games that’s a combination of skill and luck,” he said. “As my Grandpa used to say, ‘I can beat the guy that invented the game if I just got the right cards.’”

Cribbage is a card game played between two people who use a pegged board to keep score. The first person to tally 121 points wins. After one game, which typically takes about 15 minutes, the players switch opponents.

“Kids today don’t seem too excited about card games,” said Charlie Douthit, the director of the cribbage club in Cheyenne, who attended last week’s Loveland club. “But if they play it, they might find it fun.”

The new Loveland chapter is part of the American Cribbage Congress, a national organization that tracks player standings.

“You get to know a lot of people,” said Douthit, who has played in tournaments with people from around the country.

Roger Wilson, a Westminster resident who attended last week’s Loveland cribbage club, has earned more than 10,000 points in sanctioned tournaments — making him the No. 1 player in the state.

Cribbage “is so unpredictable,” he said. “There are thousands and thousands of combinations.”

The game is easy to learn, the Cheyenne director said, but hard to master.

“We used to say cribbage is 70 percent luck and 30 percent skill,” Douthit said. “But the more you play, the more you find out it’s 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill.”

Cribbage Vocab

Crib — Four cards (two by each player) set aside from the original hand of six cards for the benefit of the dealer before the starter card is turned.

First Street — Holes 1 through 30 on a cribbage board. A tournament-length cribbage board is divided into four sections (First Street, Second Street, etc.) of 30 holes each which can be used as landmarks during a game.

Hauling Lumber — Hauling Lumber (or Timber) usually refers to intentional over pegging, which is a form of cheating during a cribbage game.

Muggins — Taking points your opponent misses.

Skunk — Any game in which the loser scores 61-90 points, not making it onto Fourth Street.

Source: American Cribbage Congress,

Mountain View Peggers, the Loveland club of the American Cribbage Congress, meet 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Cloverleaf Kennel Club, 2527 N.W. Frontage Road; $7 buy-in that is split among the top scorers.

For more information: call Troy Thorson, 669-5686, or visit



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