November 23, 2021

*** This hand was suggested by scottcrib
0*-0  ?
Total votes: 221
scottcribConfronted with this first hand of an online game. I see no easy choice.
1265 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 3:09 AM
Nice puzzle Scott-it took awhile but I came up with this hold-cuts of a 2,3,or 5 get us to 12 while an 8 cut gets us to 8 with a 7 to work with in the crib
6142 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 3:15 AM
Same. The nine cut gives us eight also. Sometimes that 7-A can produce a sizable crib. But with this cut a dozen will suit us fine. Three of spades lead. dec
Sally3 says: Congrats on Bronze last night, Dan :)
dec says: Thank you ... I saw you are also early on e-cribbage. dec
Gougie00 says: You must have been in the B Room. I also got knocked out in the quarter finals.
Gougie00 says: And after dispatching my first 3 opponents in about 20 minutes, was made to wait about 40 minutes for the 4th. Ugh. Suggesting electrical cattle prods.
3720 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 3:31 AM
My cutting practice has paid off.
303 votes

Joined: October 2021

Tuesday 3:31 AM
Pays to flush...connectors. A face won't help anything anyway.
3959 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 4:08 AM
An interesting arrangement of cards for First Dealer of a game is posted today by scottcrib, and he leaves us with the comment, "I see no easy choice." Well, if Cribbage were easy, I suppose everyone would play it! (Or maybe NOT play it?!)

The FLUSH seems superior to start this game, as opposed to Keep (3 3 4 9) and Toss (A 7), but then we notice Keep (3 3 7 9) and Toss (A 4) is also an option! Let's hold on a bit!

I've come to call Toss (3 4), Toss (6 7), and Toss (J Q) the three 'Dealer Discard Cousins' that begin with Zero Points but end up with an average of close to, or often exceeding, Five Points, which is better than some higher-ranking PAIRS such as Toss (T T), Toss (Q Q), or Toss (K K)!

But when we look at our other idea here of Toss (A 4), we are also reminded that any Dealer Discard with a 5 Card, or cards that 'add up' to Five or Fifteen, is bound to have an average of higher than Five Points, and often closer to Six Points or more.

For Defensive Pegging as the game's First Dealer, it's hard to beat the FLUSH; but in fact, Keep (3 3 7 9) should do just as well, so I am slowly convincing myself to consider Toss (A 4) today. Let's do it; we'll stand out from the Early Morning Crowd today!
Andy (muesli64)
2173 votes

Joined: August 2009

Tuesday 5:05 AM
Go for double run. Then it follows you should keep the 9 and throw A-4 which in itself is not all bad.
zeke76 says: How are you tossing A4 and holding for the double run? You'd need to hold the 4.
1199 votes

Joined: August 2018

Tuesday 5:39 AM
I like the flush and the 34 in the crib. Good cut for either of the two main choices today.
1286 votes

Joined: January 2012

Tuesday 5:49 AM
Let’s not let the cut influence our hold here.

I see the flush as the top option for pegging, and 3-4 is superior to 7-A. While we don’t have any holds at 12+, any non-face gets us to 6+, with some hope in the crib.
968 votes

Joined: August 2019

Tuesday 5:51 AM
Personally, I would have tossed the 4-7 to the crib but I went with what my algorithm indicated as the top pick.

Nice cut for the show-card.

Here are the top 5 from the algorithm.

Points: 14.17. Keep: ACE of SPADEs THREE of SPADEs SEVEN of SPADEs NINE of SPADEs Discard these: THREE of DIAMONDs FOUR of DIAMONDs
Points: 13.82. Keep: THREE of DIAMONDs THREE of SPADEs SEVEN of SPADEs NINE of SPADEs Discard these: ACE of SPADEs FOUR of DIAMONDs
Points: 13.40. Keep: THREE of DIAMONDs THREE of SPADEs FOUR of DIAMONDs NINE of SPADEs Discard these: ACE of SPADEs SEVEN of SPADEs
Points: 13.20. Keep: ACE of SPADEs THREE of DIAMONDs THREE of SPADEs NINE of SPADEs Discard these: FOUR of DIAMONDs SEVEN of SPADEs
Points: 12.49. Keep: ACE of SPADEs THREE of DIAMONDs THREE of SPADEs FOUR of DIAMONDs Discard these: SEVEN of SPADEs NINE of SPADEs
1431 votes

Joined: August 2019

Tuesday 5:56 AM
I don't like breaking up double run options (if I already have connected cards) if I can and it doesn't seem to hurt my hand or crib chances too much to do so. Also, every cut helps hand or crib.
scottcrib says: Thank you all for your comments today!
1302 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 6:01 AM
Close call I think today between three choices. Decided to keep the most combined points before the cut. Liked A-4 in the crib slightly more that 3-4 or A-7.
zeke76 says: Party like it's vote 999.
1141 votes

Joined: June 2020

Tuesday 6:37 AM
Taking a straight path today,….flush and 3/4 to my crib. Good defensive pegging hold. Cuts from 10/14 ranks help in someway
2453 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 6:42 AM
Generally speaking I like holding a possible double-run as mentioned by today's host. But in this case I agree with Mike and prefer to keep the only configuration that starts with a combined 6 points. A great puzzle when the commenters are showing 4 different choices.
Fender Bass says: I almost held it this way.
5519 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 6:45 AM
Tepid at best today. I kept the 334 together just incase of a 2 or 5 cut. Well, bingo for that.

Wondering whether the flush would have been the better option.
Sally3 says: Congrats on your Bronze last night, Greg :)
Gougie00 says: Thank you.
2830 votes

Joined: November 2014

Tuesday 7:38 AM
Sorry scottcrib, to me this was an easy choice. Almost always pays to flush. When in doubt, flush. Of course, the flush is the best choice until it isn't :-)
scottcrib says: Yep! It's certainly not a wrong choice. I am mostly interested in people's opinions on the various choices.
wasa says: Well, HAL and RAS say no to the flush, yet usacoder's algorithm says that the flush is the best. Even after reading everything, I'd still choose the flush. Live and don't learn, that's me.
MiketheExpert says: I find no fault with choosing the flush, or HAL and RAS's selection of the (A 4) discard either. So next time if we have a repeat of this same puzzle, I'll probably choose (A 4) instead. :-)
Fender Bass
373 votes

Joined: July 2021

Tuesday 7:42 AM
I find I've been holding more flushes since finding this site.
Fender Bass says: My first thought was to toss the A/4
1008 votes

Joined: January 2021

Tuesday 9:14 AM
Flush and A-4 both start with 4 points in hand, but the A-4 is the stronger discard, guaranteed 2 points, and lets me split the points more evenly between hand and crib.

The flush grows from every cut except the Xs, but that's a pretty sizable exception which was the final deciding point for me.

I like the flush seems to give more defensive pegging opportunities as first dealer, but I'll take my chances with the A-4 discard.
918 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 10:52 AM
It's a pretty close toss-up for me on first deal between keeping the flush and throwing (A 4) to keep a combined six. I think I prefer the flush keep just ever so slightly for first-hand defense, and (3 4) suited is only a little bit inferior to the toss of (A 4). Not quite as partial to (A 7), though it keeps the double-run possibilities intact, so I'll slot that into 3rd place today.

I can see myself selecting either of the first 2 options, depending on what direction the wind is blowing for me on that day.
1862 votes

Joined: May 2016

Tuesday 12:02 PM
II like keeping the 3-3-4 together.
1268 votes

Joined: July 2016

Tuesday 12:41 PM
I feel this will be best for expected averages before factoring in the defensive pegs. Question for everyone. If you kept the pair of 3's in either format, would you pair an opening lead of a 3?
Jazzselke says: I would give them the 6 and gladly take the 12 on first street.
scottcrib says: Definitely!
Inushtuk1 says: The reason I ask, is because we are supposed to peg defensively as game's starting Dealer. We are assured of reaching at least 11 with this cut. And an average of 5 or 6 in the crib. a 5 point crib would put is at least at 14 here. Perhaps you are hoping for a big crib and being Pone on Second Street after this. Or you feel that if our opponent does have a good hand and pegs well s/he will still be a bit short, or there is plenty of time to slow the game down later.
JQT says: Greed may not indeed be good, but *more* shall almost always be better! And Cribbage is a game of numbers, so let's investigate those numbers: This "PAIR the Trey Lead" quandary reminds me quite a bit of the mentality of those who assert the, "I'm too afraid to invest in stocks/real estate/etc." argument. If Pone retreats after we PAIR a Trey Lead, we will have obtained Two Points, entirely gratis. And yet, even if Pone coyly 'drops' a 9 Card at this juncture for (15-2), we could (and should) still proceed to parry with our own 9 Card for an additional Two Points, and bring the Count up to Twenty-Four, while being safe from any PAIRS Royal. And lastly, if Pone does indeed hold that 'other' Trey, and scores Six Points for PAIRS Royal, Bless Pone: for now we can DOUBLE that with our "case" Trey for Double PAIRS Royal, and a Dozen Points, out-pegging Pone 14-to-6 in the process! Therefore, I see little-to-none downside risk here to PAIR the initial Trey Lead. Oh, and to tie this all back to the theme of investing: if you're not invested in stocks, or real estate, or Lord Knows What (maybe fine art?), what you're likely invested in, is cash! And via inflation, you're losing what should be an unlawful percentage of your principal each and every year. To forgo PAIRING a Trey Lead is tantamount to saying, "I'm good here; I'll just hold onto cash."
Jazzselke says: Very simply 12 is hard to pass up. I am not bound to strict defense on first street in this case; in another position on second or third street I may not be willing to give up the 6.
MiketheExpert says: I 3rd the comments above...absolutely would pair the 3. I would certainly rather widen the scoring gap, however, than avoid him pegging at all costs. So I play defensively, but with a big asterisk at the beginning of game :)
MiketheExpert says: Holding the flush however, I think my next play is the A on a 3 lead.
5418 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 2:22 PM
I think it's between the flush, 3-3-4-9 (A-7) and perhaps A-3-4-7 (3S-9):

A-3S-7-9: 4pts + 5pts (Schell: 4.91) = 9pts

3-3-4-9: 4pts + 3¾pts (Schell: 3.85) = 7¾pts

A-3-4-7: 2pts + 3¾pts (Schell: 3.78) = 5¾pts


A-3S-7-9: Improves with AAA, 2222, 33, 444, 5555, 6666, 777, 8888, 999 = 30 cuts = 30/46 = 65.2% up to 8/9pts with 2222, 33, 5555, 777, 8888 = 17 cuts. Plus 9 spades for 1pt extra for the flush = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

3-3-4-9: Improves with 2222, 33, 444, 5555, 6666, 8888, 999 = 24 cuts = 24/46 = 52.2% up to 8/12pts with 2222, 33, 5555, 8888, 999 = 17 cuts.

A-3-4-7: Improves with AAA, 2222, 33, 444, 5555, 777, 8888 + 16xXs = 39 cuts = 39/46 = up to 6/7/8pts with AAA, 2222, 33, 444, 5555, 777, 8888 = 23 cuts.


As First Dealer we'll play Defense. Positional hole is 8pts but we'll hope to score the average 16pts or more.


Both the flush and A-3-4-7 should peg well as they have a 3-card magic eleven but playing Defense I think 3-3-4-9 will peg well too.


A-3S-7-9 is best for starting value by 1¼pts but A-3-4-7 has most cuts for improvement and 23 for 6-8pts which is a big increase over 2pts. However I don't think it will catch up the 3¼pts on the flush so I'll throw the suited 3-4.
5129 votes

Joined: February 2008

Tuesday 2:24 PM
At 0*-0 playing a Defense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense___Hand_Pegs____Crib_Total___W9 %____W10 %

Defense______L9 %____L10 %

3-3-7-9 is best for expected averages by 0.25pt. and it is slightly best for Win %s and appreciably lowest for Loss %s. So I'll select A-4 to discard.

After the 5S cut I'll play Defense to the lead.
4953 votes

Joined: November 2008

Tuesday 3:19 PM
Choosing defense as dealer of hand one; so 3-3-7-9 and toss A-4, the only choice in the hand that averages more than 5 points in crib. Play off the lead although would pair a trey. Any of those frequent X-point discards (1-K, 10-Q, Q-K0 the crib will tally 8 points.