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The noddy truth about cribbage

Airdrie Public Library will be celebrating Seniors' Week with a seniors' cribbage tournament June 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Cribbage is one of those beloved card games that has remained virtually unchanged throughout the centuries.

The game’s invention in the 17th century is credited to the English poet Sir John Suckling. But, according to John Aubrey, a 17th century writer, Suckling modified an even older game called "noddy."

Noddy, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means a fool or a simpleton – in this instance, however, it is the name given to the Knave of the suit turned up at the start of the game.

Like Suckling’s cribbage, noddy was played for counters – points scored for card combinations that add up to a certain number. Cribbage is played with a deck of cards and a flat wooden board drilled with a series of holes on which the score is kept with pegs.

The game was a favourite among United States submariners during the Second World War, serving as the official pastime during those long ocean voyages.

Today, cribbage remains one of the most popular games in the English-speaking world, and is a staple of family gatherings, clubs and, of course, neighbourhood tournaments.

In celebration of Seniors’ Week, Airdrie Public Library (APL) is hosting a seniors' cribbage tournament June 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. Seniors are invited to enjoy some friendly competition and prizes, as well as refreshments and snacks.

Registration – online, by phone or in person – is required to take part in the tournament, but everyone, not just seniors, is welcome to drop in for the afternoon and socialize.

Also happening at APL:

From June 10 to 14, APL will transform its Program Room into a Study Hall in time for exam season. Students will find a dedicated, quiet space just for them – plus, on June 7, there will be a Study Party, complete with snacks.

For more information on APL’s programs and services, visit, call 403-948-0600 or stop by and get your free library card.