September 13, 2020

*** This hand was suggested by thelawnet
118-118*  ?
Total votes: 185
96 votes

Joined: June 2020

Sunday 3:07 AM
Keeping the 7 to block a run
2619 votes

Joined: June 2013

Sunday 3:12 AM
Don't cut a Jack.

Could lead the 3 from 3-2-6 combo, but Dealer will be biased towards keeping small cards so I'm tempted to lead an "unexpected" 7. I have the 6 if Dealer takes the bait and scores 15/2.
2957 votes

Joined: October 2008

Sunday 3:20 AM
As Pone with the score tied at Hole 118, it's basically a free-for-all. I'm guessing that anything I shall do here may be wrong!

I am always one to assert that what we do in Cribbage matters, and that there is almost always a correct way, and an incorrect way, to approach every conundrum in 'This Game of Ours.' But today, who can be sure?

And that's because this puzzle perhaps comes as close to a "Random WAG (Wild Assed Guess)" as any we might experience. Can we make any sense of what might work *reliably* and *consistently* here? Who knows...?

For example, it's a known fact of the Cribbage Universe that Keep (2 3 4 6) is a superb Pegging Hand on *either* side of the board, but especially as Pone. But this assumes that we are in the middle of an active game, with prospects for either side to gain an advantage, and it probably has little or no meaning at Hole 118.

Let's back up a moment: can we even decide whether to adopt an *offensive* or a *defensive* posture before we discard today? And that's because even this normally-quite-rational decision may be fraught with peril.

We already know (or SHOULD know) that, having been dealt NO Jacks, that the Dealer shall enjoy His Heels and an immediate Two Points nearly 9% of the time, and so we should at least be aware that after such a Cut, we MUST peg offensively, and we must simultaneously prevent Dealer from pegging even One Hole before we peg Three Holes, which *can be done* with some degree of success if we know that it is coming.

I always talk about FLEXIBILITY, and our ability to ADAPT TO PRESENT CONDITIONS in Cribbage, and I think this puzzle begs us to do this. Even the usual statistics may be chucked out the window when we are tied at Hole 118, because yes: Dealer tends to average pegging of 3.5 Holes, while Pone tends to only peg 2.1 Holes: but these are AVERAGES, and today, we have both a highly-motivated Pone (US) and highly-motivated Dealer.

The brutal facts are that unless Pone can peg out FIRST, the Dealer shall *always* peg One Point for either a "go" or for Last Card, and that's merely as a result of getting to play last (i.e., we must LEAD as Pone, and therefore Pone cannot score with the first card played, the Lead Card, or 25% of her/his hand).

As Pone at Hole 118, with cards such as these, it's not unreasonable to view this as an *offensive* challenge: We have a very good opportunity to Peg Three Holes FIRST and WIN: maybe it's not a 50% or even a 40% chance of winning, but it's a chance. And the fact that the Dealer sits just as close to the Finish Line as we do only serves to amplify my idea of playing OFFENSE today.

The long RUN we were dealt has quite a number of Discard Choices: in fact, "6 choose 2" equals Fifteen, so when all card ranks differ (as we see today), or when we account for individual Card Suits, there always exist those Fifteen Separate Choices.

If we can begin with the premise as I alluded to above, in that the Usual Suspects (or Prospects) or Keep (2 3 5 6) might NOT be ideal against such a highly-motivated Opponent, what can we determine or ascertain that might work well for us today?

Typical ideas such as leading the Trey or Deuce and expecting the Dealer to cooperate and drop a Ten Card (or "X") shall simply NOT WORK HERE, not against a strong player! We must not convince ourselves that "Normal Cribbage Motifs" will have any chance of succeeding at such a position.

I really think therefore that we need to think DEEPER and be more cunning in our approach and our tactics if we are to have any chance of winning today. And we might have just the cards available to us in order to formulate such a plan!

I like the idea of "Touching Cards" to set up possible RUN opportunities, but a RUN of Four, or maybe even a RUN of three, leaves us too vulnerable to retaliation, as we must always be cognizant that we have to lead and play FIRST. This makes me wonder whether retaining TWO sets of diverse "Touching Cards" might fit the bill today.

What if we can lead a Middle Card such as the 7 Card, and also hold the 6 Card in order to retaliate and WIN if Dealer grabs the (15-2)? The Dealer should be gun-shy to do so, but with some hands, Dealer may be forced to play a dangerous card here. And more importantly I believe is that the 7 Card Lead frequently will get that Count up to or over Fifteen by the time we play our Next Card.

After the Count exceeds Twenty-Two, opportunities for obtaining a RUN or a PAIR followed by a game-winning "go" abound, and so my idea is to also retain the lowest two "Touching Cards" in order to exploit this opportunity and vulnerability.

Therefore, let's Keep (2 3 6 7) and Toss (4 5) and HOPE that no Jack is Cut! Note that this hand has BOTH a three-card "Magic Eleven" and a three-card "Sweet Sixteen" but in order to keep both of these hopes "alive" we would have to lead from those cards common to both, namely either the Trey or the 6 Card.

But since we require Three Holes and not just Two Holes, I have chosen to lead the 7 Card in order to push the Count up as quickly as possible, as opposed to seek out obtaining that (31-2), which may in fact leave us One Hole 'shy' of VICTORY. We could even substitute the 4 Card for the Trey, and look to end the game if the Dealer drops a 4 Card on our 7 Card Lead! I suppose that's an idea for someone who is even more diabolical than I!
1681 votes

Joined: March 2016

Sunday 3:26 AM
Let's see how this hand plays out. Can't match JQT's sweet sixteen and magic eleven - just a three card magic eleven.
5009 votes

Joined: April 2008

Sunday 3:47 AM
Four lead. Chances of two matches we would see. dec
Andy (muesli64)
1815 votes

Joined: August 2009

Sunday 4:27 AM
Simply kept the points needed and a space between 4 and 7 to play off.Lead 4.
4400 votes

Joined: March 2008

Sunday 5:51 AM
I'll toss the dice with 2346. Lead the 3.
58 votes

Joined: July 2020

Sunday 7:03 AM
It seemed to me that all three low cards had to be kept then it was a case of what you could repeg with if opponent paired your low card lead. The only card that would allow a repeg off a pair was the 7. I lead the 4.
3230 votes

Joined: April 2011

Sunday 7:20 AM
I want some gap between my cards. I’m leading the three.
713 votes

Joined: August 2018

Sunday 7:48 AM
What’s the difference btw keeping the 6 or 7 here?
1139 votes

Joined: October 2014

Sunday 8:56 AM
I kept the 2-3-4 run to insure that I have enough points to win should the dealer peg only one or two. By leading the 4 and holding the 7, I have a response if the dealer pairs my 4. The dealer is going to take any points offered, so I have to respond in kind.
4322 votes

Joined: October 2007

Sunday 2:59 PM
We need to peg or hold 3pts before Dealer can peg 3pts. I think 2-3-4-6 has a good chance of pegging 3pts and should defend well also. So I'll throw 5-7.
4085 votes

Joined: February 2008

Sunday 3:01 PM
At 118-118* I'll play an Offense strategy and in this endgame situation I'll examine Dealer Pegging Out %, Our Peg Out %s and Hold Enough %s:

Offense____Dlr Peg Out %___Our Peg Out %___Hold Out %s

3-4-6-7 has the lowest chance of Dealer Pegging Out but doesn't hold enough to guarantee getting out and doesn't have a good chance of Our Pegging Out. Therefore I'll keep 4-5-6-7 which has the second loweat chance of Dealer Pegging Out and the second highest chance or Our Pegging Out and of course Holds Enough to get out. So I'll select 2-3 to discard.

After the 10 cut I'll lead the 4 and play Defense:

Lead_________Dlr's Peg Pts._____Win %____Loss %

The 6 lead is lowest for Dealer Pegging Points but the 4 is best for Win %s and lowest for Loss %s so I'll lead the 4.