In what he aptly calls a “rare moment,” Ron Babcock landed the perfect 29-hand in cribbage during a coffee break at work last week. In one hand he holds three fives (diamond, heart and club) along with a jack of spades. In the other is his cut card, a five of spades, and a Trail Times clipping of when his coworker Mark MacAulay achieved the same feat in 2015. Photo: Submitted

Perfect hand

After 40 years of playing crib, Ron Babcock had the perfect 29-hand last week

Whether it’s sheer luck, albeit with a good dose of patience and determination, or something in the water out there, but another person at the Fruitvale lumber yard has produced a perfect hand of cribbage.

The odds of getting a 29-hand in the game of crib is 1 in 216,580.

It happened once around six years ago during a coffee break at ATCO Wood Products, and it happened again last week, on Wednesday Jan. 6 to be exact.

“About five and a half years ago, my coworker Mark MacAulay called you to let you know he got a 29-hand in a game of crib. I was his opponent,” Ron Babcock said. “This morning, in our coffee break game, in the second hand of the game, it happened again! This time, I was on the right side of it.”

Besides himself, Ron says he knows only two others that got the perfect 29-hand in the game. The first was a family member well over 10 years ago (in this card player’s obituary is mention of his perfect 29-hand) and the second is Ron’s coworker Mark, in 2015.

“I can’t say for sure, but I’ve been playing crib for 40 years and it feels like I’ve played over 200,000 hands. I guess I was due,” he joked. “For some reason, employers don’t give the rest of the day off when it happens!”

A perfect cribbage hand is 29 points, and it happens when a player holds three fives and a jack, then obtains the other five when the “cut” card is turned over. The final five must be the same suit as the jack.

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