On long Minocqua winter nights or rainy summer days, you are sure to find folks gathered in the cabin playing games. Pass the time indoors by trying your hand at some of these games popular in the Northwoods. 


Though it has a reputation for complexity, cribbage is actually a fairly simple game to learn. Here are the basic rules of cribbage


Objective: The goal of cribbage is to score points by playing cards to form various combinations. The first player to reach a score of 121 wins the game.

Cards: Cribbage is played with a standard deck of playing cards. The cards are ranked from ace (highest) to two (lowest).

Players: Cribbage is a two-player game, though three or more can play in partnerships.

Setting Up: Each player is dealt six cards. Each player selects two cards to put in the "crib" (a special scoring area on the board). The remaining four cards are used to play the game.

Gameplay: The game begins with the non-dealer (also known as the "pone") playing a card face up. The dealer then plays a card face up. This process continues until both players have played two cards, creating a four-card "trick." The player who played the last card to the trick scores one point.

Scoring: Points are scored for various combinations of cards. These include pairs (two cards of the same rank), runs (three or more cards in consecutive rank order), and combinations that add up to 15.

The Crib: At the end of each round, the dealer scores points for the cards in the crib, which are revealed and scored separately.

Winner: The first player to reach a score of 121 wins the game.



Sheepshead is a popular card game in Wisconsin. It is a game that tends to become more enjoyable the more you play it, so grab a deck of cards and some friends. Here's a brief overview of the rules, but there are many variations and strategies that can be employed to increase your chances of winning.


Objective: The goal of sheepshead is to score points by winning tricks. The player or team with the most points at the end of a predetermined number of rounds wins the game.

Cards: Sheepshead is played with a deck of 32 cards, consisting of only the cards from nine to ace.

Players: The game is played with five to seven people. It can be played as individuals or in teams of two.

Dealing: After shuffling the deck, the dealer deals five cards to each player. Then, three cards are placed face-down in the center of the table. These are known as the "blind."

Bidding: After the blind is revealed, players take turns bidding or passing. The highest bidder chooses a trump suit, which becomes the most valuable suit for that hand. The dealer may also bid if no one else does, giving them the choice of trump suit.

Gameplay: The player to the left of the dealer leads the first trick. Players must follow suit (play a card in the same suit as the lead card) if possible, and the highest card wins the trick. If a player is unable to follow suit, they may play a trump card instead. The winner of the trick leads the next one.

Scoring: Points are scored based on the number of tricks won and the value of the cards in the tricks. The Ace of trumps (called the "right") and the next-highest card of the same suit (called the "left") are worth the most points.

Winner: The first player or team to reach a predetermined number of points (usually 11 or 21) wins the game.



Euchre is a game that's easy to learn but difficult to master. By following these basic rules, and practicing your strategy and teamwork, you'll soon be able to participate in competitive and entertaining games of Euchre. 


Objective: The objective of Euchre is to be the first partnership to score ten points. Points are scored by winning tricks.

Cards: Euchre is played with a deck of 24 cards consisting of the 9's, 10's, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces of each suit.

Players:  Euchre is typically played with four players, two on each side, but can also be played with two, three, or six players.

Partner Selection: Euchre is played with fixed partnerships. The players opposite each other form a team and play together for the entire game.

Trump: Before the first trick, players have the opportunity to call for a "trump" suit. The player to the left of the dealer has the first chance to say whether they want the suit to be trump. If that player passes, the next player to the left may call trump, and so on. If all players pass, the dealer may decide to name trump.

Gameplay: The player to the dealer's left leads the first trick. Each player must play a card of the same suit as the lead card if possible. The highest card of the suit led takes the trick, unless a trump card is played, in which case the highest trump takes the trick. If a player cannot follow suit, they may play any card.

Scoring: If the partnership that called trump takes three or four tricks, they score one point. If they take all five tricks, they score two points. If the opposing partnership takes three or more tricks, they score two points. If they take all five tricks, they score four points.

Winner:  The first partnership to reach ten or more points at the end of a hand wins the game.