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Guidelines for ACC Internet Tournaments

Above all, the game of cribbage is to be played with sportsmanship, friendliness and good humor. The American Cribbage Congress insists on ethical play both over the board and on the Internet.

Mode of Play

ACC Internet cribbage is six-card cribbage played between two opponents, with the winner being the first player to reach 121 points. At present, the ACC does not recognize other variations of cribbage, such as doubles/pairs, three-handed cribbage, five-card cribbage, 61 point games and lowball cribbage (also known as leastski, loser's cribbage, etc.).

Tournament Authorization

To be official, an online tournament must be authorized by the ACC Internet Cribbage Commissioner. A schedule of such tournaments is available at the ACC Web site. Any departures from published rules and guidelines must be approved by the Commissioner and announced in advance.

Tournament Formats

Most ACC Internet tournaments consist of a series of playoff matches (a match being a set of games played against a single opponent). In single elimination tournaments, the winner of each match advances to the next round, and the loser is eliminated. In the first round players face one another by random draw. One or more byes may be awarded randomly during the first or second round to ensure that the number of players advancing to the third round is a power of two. Each round thereafter reduces the surviving field by half until only one undefeated player, the tournament champion, remains.

Double elimination tournaments are similar, but players are not eliminated until they lose two matches. In the first round, players are paired randomly as in single elimination events. First round losers are moved to the one-loss (bruised) bracket, where they compete against other players with one loss. First round winners continue in the no-loss (unbruised) bracket, where they compete against other undefeated players. Byes may be awarded in the early rounds of each bracket to ensure that the surviving field is a power of two. In each subsequent round the no-loss bracket is reduced by half, with winners advancing and losers moving to a corresponding rung in the one-loss bracket. Eventually both the no-loss and one-loss brackets are reduced to a single player. These two compete in the finals, where the one-loss player must win two matches to prevail, while the no-loss player must win just once.

Mixed tournaments, such as the Cribbage Cup events, begin with a round-robin qualifying round that consists of a fixed number of single games (not matches) against different opponents. Players who win more than half their qualifying round games advance to single-elimination match playoffs. First round byes may be awarded to high qualifiers to ensure that the second round field is a power of two.

9-Game tournaments were introduced on August 1, 2011. In this format every player plays 9 single game matches against 9 different opponents. The players are awarded 2 game points for a win, 3 game points for a skunk, and 0 (zero) game points for a loss. The finishing sequence is determined by game points, number of wins, and the spread (sum of spread points for each win - sum of spread points for each loss), and finally sum of spread win points.  The tracking of this information is done automatically.

At present, the ACC only authorizes tournaments in these four formats.

Skunks and Match Length

A skunk occurs when the winning player reaches 121 points before the losing player has reached 91 points. Skunks are valued at the discretion of the tournament director (TD), but departures from the default settings of the host site must be approved by the Internet Cribbage Commissioner and must be announced in advance. In most cases, skunks will be worth three game points while normal wins will be worth two game points. Skunks are not an option for For example. Note that "double skunks" are not recognized by the ACC, and thus have no value beyond that of a regular skunk.

A match is defined as a set of games against a specific opponent in the playoffs. Qualifying round games, when used, are not considered matches. Match length, the number of game points required to win a match, is set by the tournament director with the following stipulations:

  • All playoff rounds in the tournament must be the same length.
  • Match length must be clearly announced in advance.

Departures from these guidelines, including longer match lengths, can be made only with the approval of the Commissioner.

Note that at certain match lengths, skunks may have no practical value.

Tournament Announcements

ACC Internet tournaments must be announced in advance. Information provided must include date, time and Internet location, the tournament format (single or double elimination), match length, and any conditions that vary from ACC rules/guidelines and site-specific defaults, including but not limited to time limits, skunk value, and penalties for boots/disconnects.

Host Site

ACC Internet tournaments must be held at an Internet host site approved by the ACC, and must comply with the Terms of Use and Code of Conduct of that site. Neither the ACC nor its representatives are responsible for the Web content at a tournament host site or any other external site.

Player Eligibility

Depending on the Terms of Use of the Internet host site, tournament directors, with the consent of the Internet Cribbage Commissioner, may allow non-members to play in ACC Internet tournaments. To receive Internet Rating Points (IRPs), however, players must be ACC members in good standing, who have been certified for Internet play. An exception is granted for new members. See the IRP page for more information.

Players who violate ACC rules, the ACC Code of Ethics, or the Terms of Use of an Internet host site used by the ACC may be suspended or banned from participation in ACC Internet tournaments, regardless of their membership status.

Tournament Sign-up Period

The Tournament Directors are in the tournament room approximately 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the tournament. Tournament participants must be signed up prior to the start of the running of the rules. The rules are run five (5) minutes before the scheduled start time. Once the Tournament Director has begun running the rules, they are not allowed to add participants to the tournament. This is to provide the TDs the opportunity to verify that they have accurately entered all participants and to ensure the tournaments start at the scheduled time.