June 26, 2020

*** This hand was suggested by Jazzselke
70*-72  ?
Total votes: 219
2883 votes

Joined: October 2008

Friday 3:00 AM
We are dealing right atop the Third Street 'par' Hole 70, so it's 'Business as Usual' as we venture forth. We're certainly in the Driver's Seat here.

When I see a 4-5-6 RUN in my hand as the Dealer, I typically look for reasons to 'bust it apart' rather than retain it.

And here, it appears that we have a wonderful solution after Keep (A 6 9 9) and Toss (4 5). This seems to both Maximize our Hand, as well as Optimize our Crib, and it doesn't get any better than this.

Granted, this is subjective, and thus is purely a matter of style, and so if Toss (9 9) is your kind of thing, you have my blessing. But stuffing stodgy PAIRS into our Own Crib is simply not my way of playing Cribbage.

The Keep (A 4 5 6) Hand does often peg well, but it's a Pone sort-of hand, and not the optimum Dealer Hand; I much prefer Keep (A 6 9 9) with its three-card 'Sweet Sixteen' (the former hand indeed does have a four-card 'Sweet Sixteen).

I think we can peg more tentatively with the Keep (A 6 9 9) hand, but I'm not too sure that I shall convince too many people today. But nobody can argue that Toss (4 5) shall produce a much, much better Crib!
1618 votes

Joined: March 2016

Friday 3:37 AM
Don't see any face cards so decided to start with 6 points in the hand and two in the crib. After the starter we have four more points. A-4 is valued at 5.43 and 9-9, 5.16 points.
373 votes

Joined: February 2009

Friday 3:38 AM
Nice puzzle Dan-sometimes people overlook things in cribbage-such as the pegging power of 456 as the dealer-this hand very often pegs 5 and sometimes more-so keeping this combination and stashing a pair of nines in the crib could very easily get us to around hole 90 with any bit of luck-
4928 votes

Joined: April 2008

Friday 3:55 AM
I had this hand last week during play in similar positions. I believe the pegging went six to one in my favor. My hand counts totaled twenty with a four cut. Yes I think I will play it this way. Offense. dec
633 votes

Joined: January 2018

Friday 4:13 AM
Don't mind being in the minority when I've got good company.
4325 votes

Joined: March 2008

Friday 4:14 AM
I thought about 4-5. I decided on 99. A456 is an offensive attack hand, and I'll play it that way.
197 votes

Joined: January 2020

Friday 4:27 AM
According to https://cliambrown.com/cribbage/?data=AH4C5S6D9C9S there is little between tossing A4, 45, and 99.

However, tossing the 5 as dealer will weaken out pegging. So I think it's between a4 and 99.

E.g. with xxxx then we can score 15-2 and 31-2 with either hand

With xxx5 we can score x-5-5-6-4-a

So I think a456 wins
2546 votes

Joined: June 2013

Friday 4:27 AM
I'd like to try 4-5.

9 reply to a led X can be from a 9-6-A sixteen:
Andy (muesli64)
1772 votes

Joined: August 2009

Friday 4:44 AM
Throw 9-9. More points.
584 votes

Joined: February 2009

Friday 5:30 AM
Very rarely do I break up 4-5-6 and as Rob mentions above and as Dan C attests to in real play, it can result in some nice pegs for us as dealer. 4-5 may be tempting in the crib but I don’t necessarily like the makeup of A-6-9-9 as I feel it’s taken some potential away from developing a mega hand with many cuts leaving us with just 6 in the hand.
Nice puzzle Dan, and I enjoyed our match last night in the semifinals. Hope you ended up with a win.
1655 votes

Joined: November 2014

Friday 7:02 AM
Today is a learning day for me. For years I would keep maximum hand points and retain 4-5-6-9 tossing the A-9. But I wondered if that was the best. In a real game, I try to limit myself to 15 seconds of pondering before tossing but today I took probably a minute or so to consider tossing the 9-9, A-4, or the 4-5 instead of my default 9-9. Decided I liked the 5 in my crib so tried the 4-5. Really curious what HAL will recommend.
1514 votes

Joined: March 2009

Friday 7:03 AM
A456 is known as a great pegging hand for the pone, but can do well for the dealer also. One notable scenario: 8-6-7-5-go-4-A. 11 pegs to 3!!! That being said, throwing 45 is very tempting here, which is why I posted the puzzle. But the pegging prospects outweigh the benefits of 45 IMO.
102 votes

Joined: March 2020

Friday 7:04 AM
One of my favorite holds as dealer, plus a pair to the crib. Why break up 4-5-6?
900 votes

Joined: June 2016

Friday 7:26 AM
The pegging potential for this hand is too much to ignore. The A-4 also gives us the opportunity for an extra 2 points should an X starter card be displayed. It also extends the starter assistance to include the 8.
640 votes

Joined: August 2018

Friday 9:23 AM
More agreement today than I expected.
3784 votes

Joined: November 2008

Friday 10:14 AM
RAS loves the 4-5 discard to own crib as it works so well with those favored 6-X discards. The potential hand value and pegging values off set the greater crib value of 4-5 toss by about 1 full point based on my scant emprirical evidence. The A-4-5-6 gains value from any cut other than a deuce. The A-6-9-9 gains no direct value from 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, J, Q, K. Am choosing off., off., off at all decision points. If choosing defense, the choice would be the same. The A-4-5-6 is one of the best "sweet 16's", has 2-card and a 3-card "eleven from heaven". Those can be applied offensively or defensively as pegging strategy. Over=riding consideration in my choice is that am dealing form3rd street CPZ (69-73) and want to have the next deal in 4th street CPZ (95-99). So will move down the board boldly. Bold movement sometimes rattles the opponent as well. Go for it! If you would liek to know more about Critical Position Zones, email raswino29@outlook.com.
468 votes

Joined: January 2019

Friday 1:03 PM
9 9 to my crib, thank you me.
4245 votes

Joined: October 2007

Friday 2:36 PM
I think it's between A-4-5-6 (9-9) and A-6-9-9 (4-5) or perhaps 5-6-9-9 (A-4):

A-4-5-6: 5pts + 5¼pts (Schell: 5.16) = 10¼pts

A-6-9-9: 6pts + 6½pts (Schell: 6.48) = 12½pts

5-6-9-9: 6pts + 5¼pts (Schell: 5.43) = 11¼pts


A-4-5-6: Improves with AAA, 3333, 444, 555, 666, 7777, 8888, 99 + 16xXs = 42/46 = 91.3% up to 8/9/12pts with 3333, 444, 555, 666, 99 + 16xXs = 31 cuts.

A-6-9-9: Improves with AAA, 555, 666, 8888, 99 = 15 cuts = 15/46 = 32.6% up to 10/12pts with 555, 666, 99 = 8 cuts.

5-6-9-9: Improves with AAA, 444, 555, 666, 7777, 99 + 16xXs = 34 cuts = 34/46 = 73.9% up to 9/10/12pts with AAA, 444, 666, 7777, 99 = 15 cuts.


We're at third street positional hole and Opponent is 2pts past. I'll play Offense.


I think A-4-5-6 will be by far the best pegger.


A-4-5-6 has the lowest starting value by up to 2¼pts but it has the most number of cuts for improvement and 31 for 8-12pts. It also should peg very well so I'll throw the pair of nines.
4013 votes

Joined: February 2008

Friday 2:38 PM
At 70*-72 playing an Offense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Offense__Hand_Pegs_Crib_Total____W3 %____W4 %

Offense______L3 %____L4 %

A-4-5-6 is best for expected averages by 0.52pt and appreciably best for Win %s but slightly worst for Loss %s. So I'll select 9-9 to discard.

After the 10 cut I'll play Defense to the lead.