Today's results so far

*** This hand was suggested by James500
73*-84  ?
Total votes: 272
5519 votes

Joined: March 2008

Wednesday 3:20 AM
Lets try it this way. Might learn something today.
1199 votes

Joined: August 2018

Wednesday 3:46 AM
I think more growth potential than the flush between the hand and crib, but like Gougie said, maybe I’ll learn something.
3959 votes

Joined: October 2008

Wednesday 3:49 AM
I'll usually give a FLUSH about One Point of an advantage over an otherwise equivalent alternative choice, but in this puzzle, we are just beyond the Third Street Par Hole 70, while Pone is trying to reach the Next or Fourth Street Par Hole 96 by completion of this deal. Let's think defensively and try to prevent this! Toss (6 7) exceeds the Crib Value of Toss (2 4) by nearly half a point, so let's Toss (6 7). After the 8 of Spades Cut, our Hand is Six Points, with prospects for a very good Crib.
1095 votes

Joined: December 2017

Wednesday 4:53 AM
As the behind player in a double marginal, we have to play offensively unless the cards/cut are really strong. Holding pone back is pointless if we don’t stay on pace to win in n. Imagine if the score was 95*-108, and you play defense passing up points in the pegging, and end up at 106-116*. That’s probably a loss. And on third street the defensive considerations are even lower, because the game is not at all done merely because oppo is dealing from ~95* next hand. And let’s say we play offensively and give up points in the pegging, and the score next hand is like 89-96* - at least we have some sort of buffer to hopefully play defense. JQT is as usual quite wrong about choice of strategy – he does not understand these scores, and never has.

So we have to start with the highest min and look at offense in the pegging at least before seeing the cut – none of the tosses are strong enough to break the “high min” rule of thumb. 2679 (44), 2447 (69), [4679] (24), 2449 (67). I have a weird penchant for tossing 69 to opposite dealer, but not in my own crib. 67 is a great crib toss, but iirc 44 is better. The flush does pick up extra points on a five cut. Then again, a five cut is liable to give us a big crib anyway just because of the likelihood of pone’s tossing tenth cards. The flush does have bunched cards that will now and then score big in the play, but…

I like 2679 because it has an eleven and a five trap.

Checking Liam, for all my analysis, I’m not right today. 67 or 24 outscore this by about a point in hand+crib. Certainly pegging factors will mitigate this so it’s not *that* bad of a choice, but it is definitely a not-so-distant second best to those two. Basically, the big cuts with 2449 and [4679] pull up the averages significantly. 44 is better than 67 by about a full point in the crib but this isn’t quite enough to make up the difference.

With the cut, a 10 point hand and at least two in the crib, probably more like 4 at least, I would play a balanced game. Would certainly pursue the ol’ 31 for 2, 29 for four play sequence.
Inushtuk1 says: Stop with the insults horus93. Stop it *now*.
3720 votes

Joined: June 2013

Wednesday 5:04 AM
There's a handful of different ways to start with six points from these, but which is best?
I'll try the flush with its 7-4 eleven, but I reckon a case can also be made for discarding 6-7, 6-9 or 4-4 instead.
I look forward to reading today's posts, and, "taking a ride", on board the various trains of thought of the commenters.
2453 votes

Joined: March 2009

Wednesday 5:23 AM
Good puzzle James. I will play the combined 8 points, and still have flexibility with the pegging, including a Magic 11 and the redundant fours.
Jazzselke says: Correction; combined 6 points like the other 3 legitimate choices.
1302 votes

Joined: February 2009

Wednesday 6:13 AM
I like the flush today. We have the 7-4 magic 11 for defense and many cuts that will help hand and/or crib.
1141 votes

Joined: June 2020

Wednesday 6:16 AM
For James500’s tricky & educational puzzle I will use Ras’s two point sacrifice rule..since no available discard on his list is in these six dealt cards I will start with six points in my HAND.. …I prefer the potential of 6-7 to the crib…as to board position ..Mr. Dylan would say..” It’s not dark yet, but it’s gettin there”

It is worth pointing out that when considering hand + crib they’re three ways to have a combined six points ..this makes this puzzle a “humdinger” quote my late grandmother.

80 votes

Joined: September 2022

Wednesday 6:40 AM
CribEDGE didn't go with the flush today. Here's its specifics:

Worried about opponent score. Prioritizing hand worth.
Keep: Two of Hearts, Four of Hearts, Four of Clubs, Nine of Clubs
Toss: Six of Clubs, Seven of Clubs
Worth: 6 / Bonus: 4
918 votes

Joined: April 2021

Wednesday 7:36 AM
I'm picking this hold largely for defensive purposes today - Really want to avoid pone reaching hole 95+ on the next hand if I can help it. I think the best potential combined with defense will be served by throwing (6 7) to my crib.
MiketheExpert says: This is one of those rare circumstances where even trading 12/14 points for 6 points against may not serve my best interests -- After the cut, my hand is still only left at 6 points, but I may have an excellent crib waiting for me...I still think I have to pair if a 4 is led though and take my chances.
2830 votes

Joined: November 2014

Wednesday 10:14 AM
Pondered both the flush and the 2-4-4-9 but, in the end, when in doubt it pays to flush!

I see C. Liam Brown has the flush ahead by a slim 0.1 points. Which will peg better? Magic 11 with the 9-2 or the 7-4. The 2-4-4-9 has the 9 as an escape card if needed.

Still, it pays to flush!
6142 votes

Joined: April 2008

Wednesday 12:33 PM
Dang so close. I have a peg strat for this type of hand. 6-7 in crib is attractive but if a five or eight gets cuts tthose hand are sizable also. dec
Inushtuk1 says: Hi dec. I hope you will come back and read my question. What is your strategy?
1268 votes

Joined: July 2016

Wednesday 2:10 PM
Must be close is right dec. The only reason I chose this way is because the touchers (6-7) are better than the (2-4) gappers, by about half a point. But the flush will be harder to read; and has a safer Magic Eleven. Now the question is; on a 10 Card lead; will I "face my fears", and play the 9 to get the count above 15, or will I play the 2?
JQT says: The inherent nature of a FLUSH usually makes it harder to 'read' by our Opponent, but other than the obvious restriction that a FLUSH can have no PAIRS, it can contain a RUN, or Touching Cards, and Gapped Cards, etc., so a hand such as we see today with (4c 6c 7c 9c) is probably not as SAFE as (2 4 4 9), for a few reasons. The FLUSH for example is quite 'bunched up,' and it could therefore get a bit 'jammed up' during the pegging, while the (2 4 4 9) has better spacing; and of course, it has the PAIR, which is often good for defending (anything we have in abundance is less likely to be held by our Opponent). Playing a Deuce on a Ten (or "X") Card Lead is not only safer (especially if that Lead Card is an actual Ten "T" Card or a Jack), but it also helps us rid ourselves of the Lone Small Card. Two 4 Cards would, however, tend to "buffer" the dangers of a Lone Small Card, since we could only get "trapped" at a Count of Twenty-Eight or higher, thus there is a much lower risk of surrendering a (31-4). Mike, I also added a reply to your post on Monday (in case you missed it) very late in the day, just FYI! 👍🏼
5418 votes

Joined: October 2007

Wednesday 4:06 PM
I think it's between 2-4-4-9 (6-7), 4C-6-7-9 (2-4H), 2-6-7-9 (4-4) and 2-4-4-7 (6-9):

2-4-4-9: 6pts + 5pts (Schell: 4.98) = 11pts

4C-6-7-9: 6pts + 4½pts (Schell: 4.52) = 10½pts

2-6-7-9: 4pts + 5¾pts (Schell: 5.63) = 9¾pts

2-4-4-7: 4pts + 5¼pts (Schell: 5.13) = 9¼pts


2-4-4-9: Improves with 222, 3333, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 999 = 22 cuts = 22/46 = 47.8% up to 12pts with 222, 3333, 44, 999 = 12 cuts.

4C-6-7-9: Improves with 222, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 = 22 cuts = 22/46 = 47.8% up to 10/12pts with 222, 44, 5555, 666, 8888, 999 = 19 cuts. Plus 9 club cuts for 1pt extra for the flush = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

2-6-7-9: Improves with 222, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 = 22 cuts = 22/46 = 47.8% up to 7/8/10pts with 222, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 = 20 cuts.

2-4-4-7: Improves with 222, 3333, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 = 25 cuts = 25/46 = 54.3% up to 8/10/12pts with 222, 3333, 44, 777, 999 = 15 cuts.


We're 3pts past 3rd street positional hole but Pone is just 2pts off reaching 4th street on average. So I'll play Defense to try to slow them down.


I think 2-4-4-9 and 2-4-4-7 will peg well with 3 low cards and a middle-card plus a magic eleven but the flush will also peg well and be harder to read and has a magic eleven as well.


2-4-4-9 has the best starting value by ½pt over 4C-6-7-9 and while they both have the same number of cuts for improvement 2-4-4-9 has 12 cuts for 12pts but the flush has 19 cuts for 10/12pts plus an extra 0.20pt for a club cut. So I think I'll throw the suited 2-4.
5129 votes

Joined: February 2008

Wednesday 4:07 PM
At 73*-84 playing a Defense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense___Hand_Pegs____Crib_Total____W3 %____W4 %
2-6-7-9____6.04+(-2.13)+5.50= 9.41____14.4____28.8
2-4-4-7____6.26+(-2.09)+5.07= 9.24____12.6____27.6

Defense_______L3 %____L4 %

2-4-4-9 is best for expected averages by 0.42pt. and is very slightly best for Win %s and lowest for Loss %s so I'll select 6-7 to discard.

After the 8 cut I'll play a SAFE strategy to the lead.
Inushtuk1 says: I guess that means a deuce on the 10 lead.
Inushtuk1 says: Would Offense or Optimal strategy change things?
Inushtuk1 says: I'm talking about the discards , not the response to a 10 lead.
JQT says: Mike, since you are the author of tomorrow's puzzle, when we must compare the merits of a Dealer Pegging Hand with a Magic Eleven of either a 5-6 duo or a 3-8 duo, let me steal one thought from the text of my post for tomorrow, which I have just been working on: "The closer in rank two cards are when they 'add up' to Eleven, generally the more powerful a Magic Eleven they make, and this is especially important when we are adopting an Offensive Posture during the pegging; therefore, 5-6 is typically the best duo, followed by 4-7, then 3-8, and 2-9, and finally A-X."
1008 votes

Joined: January 2021

Wednesday 5:33 PM
Seeing JQT's comment to Hal's post, I figured I'd note I had that thought in my head when choosing between the 2-4 and 6-7 today and decided to keep the flush and the 7-4 "11".

Ultimately saw the two choices as close and needed a "tie-breaker", though it's certainly possible I chose the wrong "tie-breaker" today and would rather avoid the bunched run.