When playing cribbage, you may have heard the term “Skunked” or “Double Skunked”.
However what does this actually mean? What does it mean to ‘Skunk’ someone, and what constitutes as a skunk or double skunk?
In this article, I will answer all of these questions and more!
What Is A Skunk In Cribbage?
Players love to “skunk” their opponents in cribbage, but how does this happen?
When a player is skunked in cribbage, this means that the winning player has pegged out of the game before their opponent has had the chance to reach 90 points in the game.
In essence, it is simply a term used when you’ve achieved a significant lead against another player, and won the game before they even got close to winning it themselves.
Why Is Skunking Your Opponent Important?
If you are playing a casual game of cribbage, it gives you the bragging rights of having a big win on your opponent. It basically says, “You stink, I won that game by a lot!”.
If you are playing casually with friends and family members and like to keep track of overall wins, skunking your opponent gives you more than just bragging rights. It would count as if you won 2 games instead of just one. Although some people choose not to play by this rule, it can be useful if you are playing multiple games back-to-back.
Now, let’s take a brief look at professional cribbage.
If you are playing in a tournament when you skunk your opponent, it gives you extra points during the tournament. These bonus points for skunking your opponent can make a big difference in the overall outcome of the tournament.
So, professional players don’t just want to win each game – they want to win by a large margin!
What Is A Double Skunk?
A double skunk occurs when a player pegs out before their opponent has reached the halfway point of 60 points.
When you double skunk an opponent, in casual play you really are getting some fantastic bragging rights! You are telling them, “You really stink! I double skunked you!”.
If you are keeping track of who has won the most games played together, and you have double skunk that opponent, it counts as if you have won 3 games instead of one.
If you are playing in a tournament, there are no additional points for scoring a double skunk over a regular skunk.
Does Cribbage Have A ‘Triple Skunk?’
Yes! However, achieving a triple skunk is incredibly rare.
A triple skunk occurs when a player pegs out before their opponent has reached just 30 points.
Keep in mind that it takes 121 points to win a standard game of cribbage, so they must have had terrible luck to end up scoring so low – less than 1/4th the points!
That being said, this earns incredible bragging rights for the winner. If you are keeping track of total wins, this is the equivalent of winning 4 games.
The triple skunk has no value in tournament play other than bragging rights. But what phenomenal bragging rights they would be to triple skunk an opponent in tournament play. After all, players in a tournament usually have exceptional skills, so it would be incredible to win by such a large margin at the professional level.
Playing with the skunk rule is completely optional, especially if you are just playing casually. Note that some cribbage boards do not include the skunk lines on the board while others might.
Often people playing just a game or two at a time don’t find that counting the extra game wins are important, but do like the bragging rights.
In tournament play, double skunk and triple skunk are recognized by players and spectators, but hold no additional value over a regular skunk.
However you decide to play, the important thing is to make sure you’re having fun!
– James And Amara McAllister