June 21, 2022

*** This hand was suggested by MiketheExpert
95-96*  ?
Total votes: 253
3488 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 3:05 AM
We are facing a Dealer who sits right atop the Fourth Street Par Hole 96, and trailing by One Hole.

Thus we are Pone and we are entirely "off cycle" whereas our Opponent is right "on target." Somehow, we either need to speed up our own movement by nearly a whole street, or we need to 'slow down' the Dealer by a few holes, so Dealer falls 'short.'

Keep (T J Q Q) and Toss (6 6) may look appealing, but can this get us to "jump" ahead an entire cycle? Maybe after any of a Dozen Cuts (5555, TTT, JJJ, QQ), we could do it. That means at best, about a 25% chance to prevail.

But our best chances will probably come if we Keep (6 T J Q) and Toss (6 Q), and try to 'slow down' the Dealer. If we are to WIN, it might take LONGER this way, but our odds might be slightly better.

Let's Toss (6 Q) today.

After the 7 Card Cut, we still have Three Points in our Hand. Let's lead the remaining 6 Card.
JQT says: I'm not sure if this puzzle comes from a real game, or whether it's a composition, but in either case, when I construct my own puzzles, I often do use a bit of both: I'll take an idea from a real game, and then embellish it with slight changes in both card composition and scores in order to refine it even further. And only when I am confronted with the very best puzzle ideas do I spend a lot of time investigating ways to make them even better, and so let me offer MiketheExpert my thoughts today: Another, perhaps more intriguing arrangement might have been (95-96*) (6 6 T J J Q), thus giving us the Third Option of starting off with Four Points instead of Three Points with Keep (6 6 J J) and Toss (T Q), which is typically less than half-a-point more dangerous than Toss (6 Q); but having been dealt two Jacks instead of one, the Negative Delta might make Toss (T Q) a very compelling choice. Also, we would have to debate whether retaining Three Points with Toss (6 J) would possibly be better or worse than starting with just Two Points after Toss (6 Q). However, when making such changes to a puzzle, it's important to then subject it to some rigorous testing, because it's also very easy to turn a great puzzle into a mess with an impulsive idea, and so I would only offer such an idea and thought process with this prior caveat. With this in mind: It should also be noted that the Microsoft Spelling and Grammar checker gives the following two possible corrections for "MiketheExpert": Minesweeper and Wicketkeeper!
MiketheExpert says: Thanks for the praise and the great suggestion! I do believe that (6 6 T J J Q) would make for an even more interesting decision...maybe I'll submit this one as well for future consideration....I think 3 choices are now in the money, those being (6 Q), (6 J), and (T Q). I'm not 100% sure at this point which one of those options I'd choose. And it so happens I do like Minesweeper, and it would've been very interesting if I had also happened to be a former Wicketkeeper for a cricket team, but alas, the coincidences end here, lol.
JQT says: Also, after looking at all of the responses today, including whatever Halscrib says, you might also wish to further 'tweak' the score(s), but that would take even more careful examination. In my own experience of puzzle composition, it's often not at all clear whether to move Pone or Dealer, and in which direction! Changing the score(s) just slightly can enhance a puzzle greatly, until you go too far, and then it's ruined! It's always important to remember where you started from, because you often know that the 'kernel' or original idea is a good one, so the aim of the 'adjusting' process is to make it better, not worse.
991 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 3:09 AM
Just cannot provide any help here to our opponent who is about 50 percent to get out from 96-even if we keep the double run of pictures and get the cut for 16,we are still 10’away -much too far to stand a realistic chance of pegging out-let’s play the percentages of discarding one of the top defensive throws in cribbage-especially with the negative delta that exists in this hand-lead the 6 and hopefully survive that and limit the dealers pegging
1135 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 3:37 AM
In agreement with John and Rob above. Balk their crib and try to slow opponent down at this position.
5045 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 4:05 AM
I dont see a way to win on this hand. If there was a potential for a 24 hand, I would have gone for it. The best I can do here is a 17 and that would leave me way short. So I hedge with the 6-Q, and pray the dealer has a bad hand twice in a row.
2376 votes

Joined: November 2014

Tuesday 4:07 AM
Can't give up 66 in this position
5665 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 4:09 AM
need for opponent to strikeout twice here. dec
961 votes

Joined: August 2019

Tuesday 4:15 AM
Don't like the 7 cut having tossed a 6, but it was the best play. Thought about tossing 10-J. Lead the 6.
4493 votes

Joined: November 2008

Tuesday 5:00 AM
At hole 96, n/d is fine if not pegging backward. No need for holding that double run. Three points is just fine here. Am playing win/loss percentages solely. Combined values favor holding the double run as the hand has a potential of 17 points and several cuts that score 15 or more points. N/d needs to have the crib in 4th Street CPZ (95-99). Am already there. Dealer still has slight positional advantage, though slowing dealer down could improve n/d chances for a win immensely. The six lead makes sense when holding three X-pointers and plan to split that upper sequence with second card played. Most other places on the board, would retain the double run.
Ras2829 says: In this case, makes no difference which Queen is held as do not intend the play the QS following the 6S lead. So no "fake flush" attempt will be made, even though a 6-Q combo is a good one for doing so.
Ras2829 says: BTW will be absolutely amazed if HalscribCLX discards 6-Q since the double run has more than two points edge in combined value.
Ras2829 says: The 6-Q is one of six discard combinations to opponent that score 0-2 points 40% or more of the time. If you would like to know all six, e-mail raswino29@outlook.com any old time. That's just what we need to turn this game from a loss to a win.
Ras2829 says: The 6 lead often draws a X-point response as it puts the count over 15. That is frequent since dealer often plays X-X-X-X, 5-X-X-X, or similar. So, n/d has a chance to score two safe pegs on any other than the King.
3260 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 5:17 AM
A big reduction in hand value, but I'm more concerned with their points than I am my own.
552 votes

Joined: January 2021

Tuesday 5:39 AM
Dealer at 96, not just trying to pump the breaks, I need to slam the brakes.

Q-6 is excellent defense, and I'm still dealing above 96 next hand. Trying to hold dealer to nothing but their one today. Leading the 6 and trying to dump the J next.
679 votes

Joined: June 2020

Tuesday 6:29 AM
From this board position I chose to play defense. AND..there’s are only three Pone pair discards to crib that averages 7+…pair of Sixes happen to be one of them ..
Eolus619 says: and btw…if you haven’t read Ras’s comments ( meant for wasa) yesterday on strategy and how it effects playing “this game of ours” I suggest you do so.If you keep a log print it out . If you don’t..make this your first entry in your brand new log.
2102 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 7:14 AM
Maximum D. Commenters all agree; overall pool 67% on throwing 66. Illustrates the difference between players that are aware of position from those who are more casual participants.
Eolus619 says: Very well said Dan….AND I scratch my head as to why voters continue to not appreciate the potential consequences of Pone discarding pairs to crib.
scottcrib says: Dan, congrats on making it to the 2100 (votes) club.
scottcrib says: Truly a man for the 21st century. :-)
Jazzselke says: Very funny Scott!
Ras2829 says: Hi Jazzselke: And I thought you were seeking a Congressional seat and got 2100 votes in the primary. Now I see that 2100 votes right below your name. Takes me a while to get it!
452 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 9:45 AM
I didn't think this was that good a puzzle, especially for well-seasoned players, as those who are aware of proper positional play would quite clearly see that (6 Q) is the much better discard to increase your chances of winning, as evidenced by the unanimous choice of our regular commenters today. However, clearly it does have merit, as a full 70% of 180+ voters have selected the (6 6) and counting....And perhaps even HALSCRIB may decide to toss the (6 6) as well today, we'll see :)
JQT says: Participants may wish to refer to my post (above) where Mike and I discuss Puzzle Composition.
4951 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 1:33 PM
I think we either play Offense with 10-J-Q-Q (6-6) and the Defensive 6-10-J-QS (6-QD):

10-J-Q-Q: 8pts - 6¾pts (Schell: 7.08) = +1¼pts

6-10-J-QS: 3pts - 4¼pts (Schell: 4.22) = -1¼pts


10-J-Q-Q: Improves with 5555, 9999 + 12xXs = 20 cuts = 20/46 = 43.5% up to 15/16pts with 5555, 101010, JJJ, QQ = 12 cuts. Plus 11 hearts for 1pt extra for the his nob = 11/46 = 0.24pt.

6-10-J-Q: Improves with 5555, 66, 9999 + 12xXs = 22 cuts = 47.8% up to 6/8/9pts with 5555, 9999, 101010, JJJ, QQ = 16 cuts. Plus 11 hearts for 1pt extra for the his nob = 11/46 = 0.24pt.


Dealer is at 4th street positional hole and we're 1pt short. We need to keep opponent as short of 111/112pts as possible so I'll play Defense.


Playing Defense I think 6-10-J-QS will peg better.


10-J-Q-Q is better for starting value by 2½pts and although it has slightly fewer cuts for improvement it has 12 cuts for 15/16pts. So although playing Defense I feel I must throw the 6-6.
4677 votes

Joined: February 2008

Tuesday 1:58 PM
At 95-96* playing a SAFE strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense___Hand__Pegs____Crib____Total____W1 %___W2 %
10-J-Q-Q___10.63+(-3.26)+(-7.02)= 0.35___0.0____20.5

Defense_______L1 %___L2 %

10-J-Q-Q has the best expected dynamic averages by 2.48pts but in this Critical Position Zone (CPZ) Win/Loss %s are more important. Although 10-J-Q-Q is much better for Win %s it is massively worse for Loss %s because of the risk of the 6-6. As I'm recommending a SAFE strategy I'll select an unsuited 6-Q to discard.

After the 7 cut I'll lead the 10 and play Defense:

Lead_____________Dealer's Pegging Pts.______Loss %

Although the J lead is best for Dealer's Pegging Points both the J and 10 lead are lowest for Loss %s. I'm recommending the 10 lead.