Think Pickleball is Popular? This Game Might be Even More Popular in Missoula
This week on the Chris and Ashley Show we asked if people were part of groups that played games at other people's houses, you know, like Bunko, Bridge, and Cribbage.
We got a few responses, but not as many as I would have thought. Then, I saw this post on Instagram:
Seeing that people were playing Cribbage at Tandem Bakery I developed a theory: I think people are going out to play these games instead of going to each other's houses.
I started down the rabbit hole of Cribbage in Missoula and the more I learned the more I wondered if this might be a more popular game than Pickleball! I talked to my friend Jared Maynard, a frequent local Cribbage player, and he told me what all the fuss is about.
How Did You Start Playing Cribbage?
"My grandpa and family played with me," Maynard said. "Then I realized there's a lot of other people who play, and it's not just older people. There are a lot of people my age who play. It's really fun to see every age group. It's cool having early 20-year-olds all the way through 80-year-olds in the same Missoula bar or business playing the same game."
With such an age range of players, people tend to be pretty accepting of one another. He says you can almost go up to anyone and ask if they play. "It's like, you want to play Cribbage? Hell yeah."
Places to Play Cribbage in Missoula
- Cranky Sams
- Katie O'Keefe
- Red's Bar
Why Does Everyone Want to Play Cribbage?
The games aren't especially long so you can play a quick game and move on with your day. The game can also be played with two, three, or four people which makes it more accessible. "You'll see people you've never met. Most bars just have a board and cards you can ask for. I think it's fun because you can be casual or you can be really competitive."
It can also be a great way to strike up a conversation with someone you've never met.
What Do Cribbage Players Talk About?
"It's probably not appropriate," Maynard said with a laugh, then added, "People's cool or unique cribbage boards always spark a conversation."
Creating Cribbage boards is certainly an art form, with many boards accentuating the natural beauty of wood.
Or the natural beauty of antlers...
One of the popular local Cribbage tournaments is the one at Red's Bar. It's a two-person team tournament that starts early in the morning, usually during the spring or early summer. The bar is full of competitors and once the games start, Maynard says, it gets really quiet, with everyone focused on the game.
"You can be there all day or you could be done in 45 minutes," he says.
What's the difference between playing at home or at a bar?
"It's pretty similar. I think it's like bringing something you do at home to a bar, or vice versa, something you do at a bar you bring home." So there may still be Cribbage games hosted at people's homes on a rotating schedule after all. Then again, maybe not.
"People are taking games out, and they're doing it more than you think."