May 12, 2022

*** This hand was suggested by Ras2829
9*-7  ?
Total votes: 256
1138 votes

Joined: July 2016

Thursday 3:10 AM
Magic Eleven in the hand, and (7-8) in the crib with three cards to come.
2495 votes

Joined: March 2017

Thursday 3:26 AM
Let’s plant the 87 and see what grows.
3830 votes

Joined: October 2008

Thursday 3:52 AM
We are the Dealer with a small lead on First Street, but we're still not anywhere near the First Street Par Hole 18. This means that while we do have a significant Positional Advantage, we have not quite "jumped the cycle" and so the game may still proceed as a typical game.

It looks as though we can immediately reduce our Discard Choices down to just two: either Toss (7 8) or Toss (T J). Both discards involve "Touching" Cards, although Toss (7 8) also has points associated with the inherent (15-2).

This arrangement strangely does not "ring a bell" nor do I recall having dealt with anything like this, which makes for an interesting puzzle.

Since we get three cards of "help" in the Crib, it is tempting to Toss (7 8) and try to "leverage" the (15-2) possibilities, since Pone is less likely to throw us any 5 Cards.

Toss (7 8) also allows us to retain a two-card "Magic Eleven" of A-X, and a Queen Cut would create a four-card RUN in our Hand, so Toss (7 8) seems to be the better discard, especially in a Defensive Scenario (0*-0).

But I think Toss (T J) is more likely to receive help from our Opponent, and since we're already underway at (9*-7), let's play more aggressively and Toss (T J). Perhaps Pone will give us the ubiquitous Toss (9 Q) today!

After the Jack Cut, we take Two for His Heels, and we have just Two Points in our Hand, and also at least Two Points in our Crib, and hopefully a Double RUN!
JQT says: It's no surprise that Toss (7 8) is very popular today, but what is somewhat surprising is that as of 12p Noon ET, this Toss (7 8) Dealer Discard has about 60% of the votes, and meanwhile, Toss (T J) has barely 10% of the votes, and in fact this latter discard not only trails Toss (J K) at 12%, but also finds itself way behind Toss (A K), which is close to 20%. Out of the ninety-one total Dealer Discards, with Number 1 being the best, Toss (T J) is listed at about Number 34 at 4.61 points (Schell), while Toss (J K) is listed at about Number 42 at 3.96 points (Schell), and Toss (A K) is listed at about Number 78 at 3.41 points (Schell). Looking at this in reverse order, TWICE as many voters who are holding 7-8 in the Hand with Keep (7 8 T J) are willing to place the fourteenth WORST Dealer Discard, instead of choosing Keep (A 7 8 K) and Toss (T J), which is forty-four places HIGHER on the Dealer Discard list! The allure of Keep (7 8 T J) may be due to the possibility of a 9 Card Cut, which performs a magical-looking "connect five" and producing a five-card RUN, however, after Keep (A 7 8 K) and Toss (T J), perhaps it's not obvious to these voters that a 9 Card Cut adds not just Five Points, but since it forms TWO three-card RUNS, it actually adds Six Points to the Hand-plus-Crib total!
MiketheExpert says: I did consider the (10 J) as another reasonable option, this combo actually can perform very well in the crib and is sometimes more "liable" to receive assistance with those common face card discards by pone...But I just felt that I could be wasting too big an opportunity by keeping an "unmeshed" (7 8) in my hand with scant chances for improvement.
Eolus619 says: ten most frequent Pone discards that will help 10-J are..K-10...K-9...A-Q...Q-7...Q-8.... 2-9...
1209 votes

Joined: February 2009

Thursday 3:57 AM
Time to root for a cut of 4 through 9 here
2375 votes

Joined: March 2009

Thursday 4:24 AM
Playing the crib.
303 votes

Joined: October 2021

Thursday 4:39 AM
968 votes

Joined: August 2019

Thursday 4:47 AM
I measure this at 11.99 by putting the 7-8 in the crib or 11.90 by tossing in the Ten-Jack. J-K comes in at 11.19.

Brutal hand Ras; it's a good thing it's happening early in the game.
Fender Bass
373 votes

Joined: July 2021

Thursday 5:05 AM
Maybe something good will happen in the crib.
5388 votes

Joined: March 2008

Thursday 5:50 AM
Not seeing anything I like on this menu. Further, it the pone helps my crib then he probably has 8 or more points in his hand. Not looking good for the home team. I don't see much of any teaching moments with this puzzle.
Andy (muesli64)
2170 votes

Joined: August 2009

Thursday 6:06 AM
Why not?
1012 votes

Joined: June 2020

Thursday 6:33 AM
To quote Rob, after Ganes first deal…both players are down in the muck. Slightly worse is GFD who managed to give up his/her board position advantage. I have a Ras list of the ten most frequent Pone discards to crib. Six of the ten help the 7-8 in some way.
Eolus619 says: ganes..shoud be games
2707 votes

Joined: November 2014

Thursday 7:04 AM
Been said above. Pondered the 7-8 or T-J to my crib. But with 3 additional cards helping my crib and only 1 additional card helping my hand, I think this is RAS's small hand rule. While I haven't memorized the numbers, 7-8 is an awesome toss to our crib, while T-J is good, it's not "awesome" (RAS's xx-star discards I believe say the same).

If I toss the T-J I'm left with a stray K in my hand that doesn't work with the 7-8. As mrob says, cuts of 4 through 9 are most helpful (hand/crib) but A,4,5,6,7,8,9,T,J,Q,K) will either help my hand or crib
3593 votes

Joined: June 2013

Thursday 7:43 AM
No strong preference either way. I'll be interested to see what Hal's numbers say.
539 votes

Joined: April 2021

Thursday 8:31 AM
When I have two good friends in my hand that seem to not be having a good time I like to send them to the crib and hope there is a better party there for them to enjoy.
127 votes

Joined: December 2017

Thursday 8:52 AM
Starting to think about defense and maybe keeping opponent short of 18.
790 votes

Joined: April 2021

Thursday 9:52 AM
I am definitely going to try the (7 8) suited in my crib here...It seemms like it will have much more potential to explode in my crib, and although I am not particularly fond of the remaining hand with a lone A, I like the prospects of being able to pair a face card followed by the A for 31-2. Otherwise, I will navigate according to pone lead, and play A early in the pegging round if appropriate. 4,5,9,or Q cut is helpful to the hand, while mid-range cards such as 6,7,8 which do not improve the hand may give us a killer crib.
5290 votes

Joined: October 2007

Thursday 2:24 PM
I think it's between A-7-8-K (10-J) and A-10-J-K (7-8):

A-7-8-K: 2pts + 4¾pts (Schell: 4.61) = 6¾pts

A-10-J-K: 0pt + 6½pts (Schell: 6.53) = 6½pts


A-7-8-K: Improves with AAA, 4444, 5555, 6666, 777, 888, 9999, KKK = 28 cuts = 28/46 = 60.9% up to 5/6/7/8pts with 6666, 777, 888, 9999 = 14 cuts.

A-10-J-K: Improves with AAA, 4444, 5555, 9999, 101010, JJJ, QQQQ, KKK = 28 cuts = 28/46 = 60.9% up to 3/4/5/6pts with 4444, 5555, 9999, QQQQ = 16 cuts. Plus 12 heart cuts for 1pt extra for his nob = 12/46 = 0.26pt.


We're well short of positional hole at 18pts and have been dealt a poor hand so I think we must play Defense.


I think both these hands will peg well playing Defense but I prefer the flexibility of A-7-8-K.


A-7-8-K has an extra ¼pt in starting value but A-10-J-K has an extra ¼pt for nob potential so they're pretty even. They both have the same number of cuts for improvement but A-7-8-K has 14 cuts for 5-8pts while A-10-J-K has 16 cuts for 3-6pts. I think A-7-8-K may peg a little better and generally I prefer A-7-8-K so I'll throw 10-J.
5003 votes

Joined: February 2008

Thursday 2:27 PM
At 9*-7 playing an Optimal strategy for the pegging (cautious offense) the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Optimal___Hand__Pegs___Crib_Total___W9 %____W10 %
A-7-8-K____3.96+ 0.59 +4.56=9.11____51.3____48.0
A-7-8-10___4.04+ 0.54 +3.97=8.56____49.8____46.9

Optimal______L9 %____L10 %

A-7-8-K is best for expected averages by 0.46pt. and although A-10-J-K is slightly best for Win %s and lower for Loss %s as it's very early in the game I decide on expected averages and select 10-J to discard.

After the J cut I'll play Defense to the lead.
MiketheExpert says: Very interesting. I think I have seen a similar comment in past about expected averages and picking the highest one, although it is worse for both win% and loss%....Sorry, I have to go with what my eyes (and my gut) is telling me, regardless of the difference in average here :))
4836 votes

Joined: November 2008

Thursday 3:11 PM
Have to admit discarding 10-J is counter intuitive for most who look at these six cards. Note there is little difference in the pegs if choosing an optimal strategy as HalscribCLX recommends. My choice is offense and A-7-8-K pegs better than A-10-J-K if choosing that strategy to include the pegging. Add the potential hand value and discarding 10-J does even better. Have only played the hand this way in recent years. Will not have the greater combined value if discards were 10-Q, 10-K, or Q-K. In those cases, toss the 7-8.
bbaer1 says: Lesson learned.
Inushtuk1 says: Hi Ras. So if we could toss (J-Q) to our crib, even better I would imagine. Do you know the numbers if choosing defense to include the pegging?
Ras2829 says: Hi Inushtuk1: You're absolutely correct that J-Q would score even better since the crib average is higher than for 10-J. As you might suspect A-10-J-K gives slightly better combined value if choosing defense strategy. Hand potential is very low with A-10-J-K. In defense strategy, pegs scored by opponent are all that matters; so, once pegs (2.5) are deducted from hand score (2.3) the start is minus, add crib average for 7-8 and the combined value switches to discarding 7-8 by about .3 of a point based on scant empirical evidence.
Inushtuk1 says: thanks.
MiketheExpert says: This makes sense. My thinking is optimal shaded towards defense upon seeing the poor hand, so I would expect the two to be quite close.
6012 votes

Joined: April 2008

Thursday 5:05 PM
Agree on the pegging could get a little complicated trying to peg with an Ace and three ten cards. It looks like a failure for the first dealer here. dec
881 votes

Joined: January 2021

Thursday 6:15 PM
My thinking matched dec above. 7-8 and 10-J looked pretty similar, and since I wanted some pegging points I didn't want A-X-X-X, so the 7-8 stayed, and 10-J went looking for a Q-9 opponent discard.