You may have heard “Nobs” when people are referring to the game of cribbage and are wondering what that means during gameplay.
You may also have heard it referred to as “His Nobs” or “Knobs”. It turns out, they are both referring to the same thing!
In cribbage, Nobs is a scoring opportunity, so if you want to earn maximum points, you definitely need to know what it is. In this article, we’ll cover everything that you need to know!
What Is Nobs In Cribbage?
When playing cribbage, nobs is a card combination that gives you an additional one point during the count of your hand or your crib.
In order to get the points for nobs, first you must have a Jack in your hand or your crib. Second, the starter card drawn must have the same suit as the Jack in your hand. The starter card is the card cut and drawn after everyone has discarded their extra cards into the crib.
For example, if you hold a Jack of diamonds in your hand and the starter card is any card in the diamond suit, you will receive one point.
This makes the Jack card special in cribbage, as it gives you the opportunity to earn additional points over cards with a value of 10 – like Queens, Kings, and 10’s!
In cribbage, you will also hear the term “His Heels” or “Nibs”. This also involves a Jack, but is not to be confused with Nobs.
“His Heels” is when the starter card that is drawn is a Jack of any suit. The non-dealer is the person who cuts the starter card and if a Jack is cut, it is announced, “His Heels”, and the dealer receives two points.
As you can see, Jacks really are special! However, it should be noted that ‘Nobs’ and ‘His Heels / Nibs’ are two separate things.
Can You Apply The Muggins Rule To Nobs, And His Heels?
The muggins rule is when a player misses scoring points during their card count. If they fail to claim their points, you can call Muggins and take those points for yourself.
If you are playing your game with the Muggins rule in effect, you can certainly apply it to nobs and heels and receive the missed points for yourself.
Fun Fact About Nobs
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “Nob” as a British noun, meaning a person of high social standing, a part of the upper class.
Some believe that “nobs” is short for nobleman, and others believe it is the British slang word for “head”. Since a person only has one head, they score one point. It is believed that since a person has two heels, that is why they receive 2 points for “his heels.”
It’s sort of random, but I thought this was interesting!
In cribbage, every point counts! Pay attention when you are counting your hand and crib. Often people will overlook the Nobs in their hand.
Nobs doesn’t occur as often as other card combinations and can be easily overlooked by a player – especially if they’re new to cribbage.
Don’t forget to pay attention to His Heels either. You want to be sure that if you are the dealer and the starter card drawn is a Jack, that you get your two points!
I hope you now have a full understanding of how nobs works in cribbage. Of course, if you have any other cribbage questions, ask them below and we’ll be happy to help!
– James and Amara McAllister