Today's results so far

*** This hand was suggested by Ras2829
43-40*  ?
Total votes: 222
3830 votes

Joined: October 2008

Monday 4:09 AM
We are Pone at Hole 43, barking that our presence be known, as we waddle midway up Second Street, leading the Dealer by Three Points, which means that our Opponent is Dealing Four Points 'shy' of the critical Second Street Par Hole 44.

We can probably secure a Positional Advantage if we place something 'toxic' in the Enemy Crib here. This should definitely remove Keep (A 4 T Q) and Toss (9 9) from our consideration, but what does it leave us as a good alternative in this 2023 Memorial Day RAS Puzzle?

We should not be too concerned whether we begin with Four Points or with Two Points, since we are only One Point 'shy' of the "target" that matters most to us here, especially if the Dealer can be denied those Twenty Points needed to 'catch up' and remain on pace to be positionally ahead of us.

Keep (4 9 9 T) and Toss (A Q) could maybe be safe enough, and our 4 Card offers some Negative Delta for added security, but is there something even better?

Keep (A 4 9 T) and Toss (9 Q) is even safer 'over the board,' and it also does minimal damage to our Hand, especially when compared with Keep (4 9 9 T) and Toss (A Q). We may have found the perfect poison!

Let's Toss (9 Q) unsuited, and revel in our ability to inflict untoward misery upon our hapless Opponent.

After the King Cut, we now once again have Four, perhaps ill-begotten Points in our Hand. Let's lead the 4 Card, and try to make the poor Dealer obtain only the obligatory One Point during the pegging.

Leading the 4 Card comes with some RESPONSIBILITY because it leaves us with a Lone Small Card! We often must rid ourselves of this card as our Second Card Played, lest we get into deep trouble when the Count exceeds Twenty-Two.

Imagine a Dealer who holds (A A 4 X), and naturally PAIRS our 4 Card Lead. Now, if we don't immediately 'jettison' the Ace, pegging will likely proceed: 4 (4) 4 (8=2) T? (18) X (28) A (29) A (30=2) 'go' A (31=8), 9 (9-1).

The Dealer has not only out-pegged us by a 12-to-1 margin, but in the process, has scored more than twice what was needed in order to reach the next positional target, and has done so just via our pegging blunder!

Leading the 9 Card is a more Offensive Pegging idea, but by leaving behind both Small Cards, it somewhat prevents us from being 'stuck' with a solitary, or Lone Small Card, which tends to make it Defensive as well. Or, we could lead the Ace and be rid of it!

I'm still going to lead the 4 Card, but I'll be ready to 'dump' that Ace next. Don't allow all of your Defensive Hard Work to spiral down that dreary, dreaded pegging drain.

Wordle 709 3/6 (a politician may regret messing with it)

Jason19 says: Changing my vote to this.
Eolus619 says: i have ever done at wordle..second guess..this after my first clue word had zero letters..maybe I’ll buy a lottery ticket ?
Eolus619 says: to pegging .RARELY disagree with your logic…with your proposed keep…not sure as dealer I would pair the lead four ..i would be inclined to play my K and see if Pone goes 15/2 with an Ace ( unlikely since I have two of them ) but if so a much safer pairing
Eolus619 says: whoops meant to say have one Ace..yikes
Inushtuk1 says: Hi Bruce. I have to disagree this time. As Dealer you have now given us a hand of A-A-4-K. That's 12 in our hand with the K cut plus one for the obligatory peg. So now we as Dealer are only 7 holes short of our next target using Schell's reference points. I would take a chance and pair that 4 lead.
Eolus619 says: I see your point Mike..
JQT says: Great job, Bruce! (maybe buy TWO lottery tickets...)
5388 votes

Joined: March 2008

Monday 4:14 AM
Nothing on the menu I like again. I kept 99-10 hoping for an 8 or J. Once again the cribbage fairy isnt helping. Lead the 9? Next hand will have the pat 12 that requires no thinking.

Happy unofficial beginning of summer.
977 votes

Joined: December 2017

Monday 4:23 AM
This score is defensive, on the face of things, with dealer two points short of par, and with us having an 11 point surplus to win on an extra count. But 11 points isn’t much this early in the game, and these cards aren’t all that good. If the score were, say, 53-40*, I think it would be a no-brainer – toss the 9Q balk. But can we afford to do this at 43-40*? Playing defense with disregard to your own progression can definitely lose the game.

For me this came down to A4TQ (99) or A49T (9Q). Not wanting to miss anything, I also looked at A499 (TQ) and 499T (AQ) but didn’t like what I saw there – TQ and AQ are inferior balks to 9Q, and the hands they leave are worse than A49T.

The problem with A49T is that it scores 5 or less over 60% of the time. Then again, A4TQ scores only four nearly half the time, so it’s not really all that much better on that front, although at least it always scores four. On the cuts that do “hit”, A4TQ is stronger, but how much should we really value cuts for 8, 9 or 10 versus cuts for 6 or 7 at this spot on the board? And with the A4 magic five, I think either hand will frequently pick up 2 points in the pegging, and that makes the A49T’s inferior cuts a little less unnerving.

Weighing all this together, I’m going to make the “basic shorthand” play and toss 9Q. A4TQ is a better hand, but it’s not sufficiently better to throw 99, even though 99 is far from the most dangerous discard. (If it had been *6*9, I suppose I would have tossed it! Haha). The means say one thing, but the distributions and the position say something else. Even though I wouldn’t overvalue a balk, the higher shot at a
horus94 says: My post got decapitated! Maybe this will work. *ahem* as I was saying: Even though I wouldn’t overvalue a balk, the higher shot at a
6012 votes

Joined: April 2008

Monday 4:31 AM
Question to ponder? Is this playing too conservative ( a possible close loss ) or with these scores a more balanced game with possibilities of regaining a positional edge on that next deal. I choose the latter. Ace lead. dec
3769 votes

Joined: April 2011

Monday 4:39 AM
Should be a popular choice with dealer at 40.
2375 votes

Joined: March 2009

Monday 4:49 AM
Agree with the defensive posture at this position, Q9 fills the bill. AQ or 4Q could be compromised by the popular 23 discard.
Eolus619 says: Insightful point Dan…talk about turning defense into a catastrophe
790 votes

Joined: April 2021

Monday 5:17 AM
Maximum defense, and am not too much concerned with my own hand score here. (9 Q) is a great balking throw. K cut seems apropos, feeling that dealer may put a 5 into the crib, so I still may expect a 4-pt crib coming. The hand is only moderately good for defense, and unlikely to earn more than 1 pegging point, if that. Let's lead the 4 and continue our strategy of trying to hold dealer short, since we should be dealing from good position next hand.
MiketheExpert says: Be sure not to get trapped with that lone A - I'd strongly suggest trying to get rid of it on the next card played by dealer!
MiketheExpert says: If dealer responds to my 4 lead with a 9, may have to play the dangerous-looking pairing of this 9 to make the count 22, as I have thrown another 9 to the crib. Really would hope he doesn't have the case 9 laying around in his hand. (The A is also dangerous as this makes the count fourteen, giving him an opportunity for 15-4.) I wouldn't argue too strongly with an A lead on this type of hand, especially for players who don't feel that comfortable or strong on pegging.
3593 votes

Joined: June 2013

Monday 6:12 AM
I'll try to hinder my opponent's progress.
1012 votes

Joined: June 2020

Monday 7:08 AM
Playing defense…it is A-Q or 9-Q… The latter is ranked #4 of Ras’s optimal discard to opponent list. btw..A-Q is on the list too…so actually i need to be careful here because I could over think this

For Me…Today is a somber day of remembrance.
1138 votes

Joined: July 2016

Monday 7:15 AM
Defense all the way. If I am only dealing at 45 next hand, so be it. I will lead the lone Ace. Like MtE said; I don't feel that comfortable or strong on the pegging.
539 votes

Joined: April 2021

Monday 8:22 AM
I agree with those that picked this keep.
151 votes

Joined: May 2022

Monday 9:08 AM
I thought about tossing 99, but after looking up RAS’s chart on throwing doubles to pone’s crib, 99 ranked fourth. Decided to split them up.
JQT: your clues never spoil Wordle! But they have helped me once or twice squeak by on attempt 6, especially on those that have a million rhyming choices!
5290 votes

Joined: October 2007

Monday 2:41 PM
I'll compare A-4-10-Q (9-9) and A-4-9C-10 (9S-Q):

A-4-10-Q: 4pts - 6¼pts (Schell: 6.39) = -2¼pts

A-4-9C-10: 2pts - 4pts (Schell: 4.11) = -2pts


A-4-10-Q: Improves with AAA, 444, 5555 + 14xXs = 24 cuts = 24/46 = 52.2% up to 8/9/10pts with AAA, 444, 5555, 101010, JJJJ, QQQ = 20 cuts.

A-4-9C-10: Improves with AAA, 2222, 444, 5555, 6666, 8888, 99 + 14xXs = 38cuts = 38/46 = 82.6% up to 5/6/7/8pts with AAA, 444, 5555, 8888, 101010, JJJJ = 21 cuts.


We're 1pt short of 2nd street positional hole and Dealer is 4pts short. If we can keep opponent well short of 60pts at the end of this deal then we should be in a good position relatively. So I'll play Defense.


I think A-4-10-Q and A-4-9C-10 will peg similarly.


A-4-9C-10 is best for starting value by ¼pt and it has more cuts for improvement and 21 cuts for 5-8pts while A-4-10-Q has 20 cuts for 8-10pts. So playing a Defense strategy I'll throw 9S-Q.
5003 votes

Joined: February 2008

Monday 2:47 PM
At 43-40* playing a Defense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense____Hand_Pegs____Crib____Total_____W6 %____W7 %

Defense_______L6 %____L7 %

A-4-9C-10 is better for expected averages by 0.75pt. and although A-4-10-Q is slightly better for Win %s A-4-9C-10 is considerably lower for Loss %s. So I'll select 9S-Q to discard.

After the K cut I'll lead the 4 and play Defense:

Lead___________Dealer's Pegging Points