Cribbage and Camaraderie

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It's a game where a skunk or a double skunk will earn you points, where "pegs" are key and "29" is king.

And it's a game where you can make friends.

In this Wandering Wisconsin report, we spend some time with the Chippewa Valley Cribbage Club.

Every Wednesday night cribbage competitors come to get in on a deal.

"We'll be playing 9 games all together."
"I have 2,4, and 3... that's 7."
"You go one game and you move so you don't play the same person all the time."

Cal Carter says, "best 2 handed game you can find. Can't play poker two handed."

In amongst the sea of cards, cribbage boards and cans, is the creator of the club.

"We just have a grand old time," says Terry Pederson. He picked the game up more than 50 years ago.

Just as clearly as he sees the cards, he saw a need, so he founded this club 8 years ago.

Pederson continues, "I've always had a flair for cards. It's mathematically oriented it's based on odds you play the odds 80/20 rule, 80% of the time something should happen only you have to worry about the 20% of the time when something happens."

He says 100% of the time, they have a good time.

We play competitive cribbage, we play serious cribbage but we have fun doing it.

Their competitive cribbage lasts for about 2 and a half hours every week.

The large room fills up with the sounds of numbers, knocking, but the strategy is silent.

"There are so many different combinations. So many idiosyncrasies to this game, position, defensive game or offensive game and it changes all the time," Pederson adds.

But what doesn't change is the pursuit of the perfect hand.

"Best hand you can have is 29 where you hold 3 5's and a jack, the 5 has to match your jack. Took us 6 years to get our first 29," he said.

It's such a badge of honor, Pederson remembers his 29, nearly 30 years ago, "I had mine on July 15, 1980."

Despite the constant quest for the elusive 29 you don't have to look far to find bonding happening around the boards.

"2 years ago we had a grandfather, daughter, granddaughter that played, many husband and wife teams mother and son that plays. This is a very close group," Pederson says.

A group that hopes to draw in new members to join its Wednesday night family

I got 2, 4 and 8 thank you!

The Chippewa Valley Cribbage Club plays every week from Labor Day to Memorial Day at the Legion on Water Street in Eau Claire. It's a grassroots club, but is part of the American Cribbage Congress.

To join, there are weekly dues for members. There's a weekend tournament at the May 29, 30 and 31 at the Plaza Hotel in Eau Claire.

If you want to find out more, contact Terry Pederson, Director of the Chippewa Valley Cribbage Club
(715) 834-0049

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