A Knife River couple are bringing cribbage to the community. Every Tuesday is now Cribbage Night at the Knife River Recreation Center from 6:30-8:30.

Karen and Bill Hermanson were inspired by a weekly group they were a part of in New Hampshire.

"We'd get together once a week and we enjoyed it a lot, so we thought we'd see if other people within the community might be interested," Karen Hermanson said.

Both Karen and Bill learned to play the game from their fathers. Karen recalls playing cribbage with college friends and neighbors over the years.

"We like cribbage because the game (board and regular deck of cards) is small and very portable. You can take it along when camping, staying in a motel, visiting a friend or family member in a small space," Karen Hermanson said. "We taught our children to play and our oldest grandchildren. During family gatherings we play multigenerational cribbage games spanning ages 10-93."

Karen Hermanson and Helene Hedlund smile while considering their hands during a cribbage game at the Knife River Recreation Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)
Karen Hermanson and Helene Hedlund smile while considering their hands during a cribbage game at the Knife River Recreation Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)

On a recent Tuesday, Helen Hedlund and Dale Sohlstrom joined the couple to play a few games at the Rec Center. For Hedlund, she said it's the best two-handed card game out there.

"Except for right now, of course, as we're playing with three people," Hedlund said. "But what I like is that it's fast-moving and fun even when you're losing. More fun to win, of course, though."

Sohlstrom recalled playing the game with his grandfather after he'd suffered a stroke.

"It was something that he could easily do and it forced him to use his mind while he was recuperating," Sohlstrom said. "You have to look for the quick combinations of cards and that's a fun challenge."

Sohlstrom and Hedlund already knew how to play, but the group is open to players of all levels including those who haven't played before.

"It's a good chance to learn," Karen Hermanson said. "And it's a good way to while away the hours of our dark Minnesota winters."

Cribbage Night is free and open to the public. There are enough boards and cards for up to 16 players, but attendees can bring their own sets if desired.

Helene Hedlund determines her opening move from her hand during a cribbage game at the Knife River Recreation Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)
Helene Hedlund determines her opening move from her hand during a cribbage game at the Knife River Recreation Center on Tuesday, Oct. 22. (Teri Cadeau/News-Chronicle)