June 22, 2022

*** This hand was suggested by mrob2199
114-117*  ?
Total votes: 258
3488 votes

Joined: October 2008

Wednesday 3:00 AM
We are Pone at Hole 114, only Seven Holes away from Sweet VICTORY! But before we celebrate: the Dealer is at Hole 117, only Four Holes 'shy' of beating us to the punch bowl.

As if to add thunder and lightning to the rained-out parade: since we were dealt NO Jacks, there is a 4 DIV 46 or nearly a 9% chance that a Jack Cut will occur, which would place the Dealer at Hole 119 before we even decide upon a Lead Card.

The average Dealer pegging is about 3.5 Holes, and that makes this a wonderful Endgame Puzzle. If a Jack Cut does occur, I'm not too sure that anything we do in the way of pre-planning for that eventuality will help, so I'm just going to assume that the Dealer needs to peg Four Holes.

Ruling out a Jack Cut will hurt us nearly 9% of the time, but it also gives us something we need desperately today: We need to focus! Let's try to stop this Dealer!

The safest Pegging Hand is probably Keep (2 4 7 Q) and Toss (4 5), but it has Zero Points! Kudos to anyone with the guts and the temerity to Toss (4 5) today: We salute you! I would only Toss (4 5) if the score were perhaps: (119-117*).

Right off, I see at least five ways to begin with Four Points: after Keep (2 4 4 5) and Toss (7 Q), or Keep (4 4 5 7) and Toss (2 Q), or Keep (2 4 4 7) and Toss (5 Q), or Keep (4 4 5 Q) and Toss (2 7), or Keep (4 4 7 Q) and Toss (2 5). One of these has to be the best choice today, so even if we guess from this juncture, we probably now have a 20% chance of being right!

The 4 Card Lead is known as perhaps the safest lead in Cribbage, and since we were dealt a PAIR of these, and since all five possible solutions (above) contain BOTH 4 Cards, we are certain to 'put our best foot forward' and lead a 4 Card today.

And if the Dealer should PAIR the 4 Card Lead, we will play our second 4 Card, push the Count up to Twelve, and the score will be: (120-119*). And then, unless the Dealer has the "case" 4 Card, or any of the four Treys, we should have a very good chance of winning!

If the Dealer cannot (or will not) PAIR the 4 Card Lead, what other two cards best prepare us to PREVENT the Dealer from pegging? Note that we are no longer talking about offense, not unless the Dealer allows us PAIRS Royal! We wish to DEFEND and inhibit the Dealer from pegging.

As our third and fourth cards, both the 2-7 and the 5-Q look somewhat safe. The Lone "Small" Card Deuce would normally concern me, but while holding two 4 Cards, the risk is mitigated. And I like the divergence between the Deuce and the 7 Card.

The 5-Q is a bit more concerning: the 5 Card is often dangerous in and of itself! But alongside two 4 Cards, we should often find ourselves being forced to play the Queen, and this single High Card could 'box us in' and be the death of us.

As said earlier, the safest Pegging Hand is probably Keep (2 4 7 Q), but which of those hands with two 4 Cards is safest? I think it's fairly clear that Keep (2 4 4 7) and Toss (5 Q) is the best way to proceed.

We were not asked for a Second Best or 'Runner-Up' choice, but it would make an ideal Bonus Puzzle question today! I would probably have a very hard time picking Keep (4 4 5 Q), although it's probably the next best Hand with Four Points. I might decide to Keep (2 4 5 Q) or Keep (2 4 5 7) with their certainty of at least Two Points, and attempt to obtain the remaining Five Holes via the Cut Card plus the Pegging!

All that aside, we are going to Keep (2 4 4 7) and Toss (5 Q) today.

After the Queen Cut, we now still have just Four Points in our Hand. Let's lead a 4 Card from our PAIR. There's a stiff breeze in our face, for not only must we limit the Dealer to fewer than Four Holes pegged, but we must also peg Three Holes ourselves. It can be done, but we're now perhaps wishing we had chosen Toss (2 Q) or Toss (7 Q).

If the Dealer responds with a Deuce, we then play our 7 Card; after a 7 Card response, we should probably also then play our 7 Card, and not the 4 Card; after an 8 Card response, we then play our Deuce; after any "X" Card response, it may be tempting to play the other 4 Card, but it's also an ideal moment to 'unload' the Lone "Small" Card, our Deuce. That about covers all the tricky cases.

Twenty-Four days in a row, my 'streak' continues unabated on Wordle: and did they just use a word that I suggested very, very recently right here in Cribbage City? That would tend to suggest that someone at The New York Times is gleaning "Hand of the Day" for inspiration! Let it be so. And I said it would be difficult!

Wordle 368 4/6

JQT says: After we Keep (2 4 4 7) and Toss (5 Q), now we have Twenty-Seven Cuts (222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 777, 8888, 9999) that will give us at least Six Points, thus about 27 DIV 46 equals 0.587 or nearly 60% of the time, we'll only be needing to peg One Hole. If instead we Keep (2 4 4 5) and Toss (7 Q), slightly more, or about Thirty-Eight Cuts (222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 777, 8888, 9999, TTTT, QQQ, KKKK) will get us the same amount of points or more, which means over 80% of the time we're in similar shape (note that I omitted the Jack Cuts, since these would almost assuredly mean that we shall lose). But we must realize that this is a MUCH MORE DANGEROUS Pegging Hand, especially when we consider that our main plight today is that the Dealer is only Four Holes away from defeating us, and therefore one of our PRIMARY objectives is to get through the pegging SAFELY.
fentesk says: I unfortunately don't recall who mentioned it previously; if you haven't, you should check out Quordle. The four puzzles at once gimmick is kind of neat, but I find they typically have a few tougher answers sprinkled in than what I've seen from Wordle and Wordplay.
Ras2829 says: Hi JQT: Just a few thoughts want to share regarding dealer pegs. Dealer does peg 3.5 on average, and that average is distorted by runs of four, five, triples for six, and the occasional 12 pegs for quads. A very high percentage of dealer pegs are 1-3 in total. Four is a stretch for dealer without some cooperation from n/d. More later!
JQT says: I tried one practice Quordle without yet reading the instructions, and got: 3, 4, 5, 7. I'm not sure if this is good or bad or indifferent. I just worked one word at a time, so I guess some cross-checking strategy might help me improve. I got WordPlay in 2/6 (93 points) or Two Guesses a few days ago: hORDe, DROWN.
JQT says: Hello (RAS): Yes, Dealer Pegs are a bit quixotic, since they can go very high if Pone is playing 'loosely,' and yet a defensive-minded Pone can often 'reign them in'; however, I've found that when a Dealer gets to Hole 117, it's quite difficult to stop a motivated Dealer who is discarding in a way such that all the concentration and focus will be aimed at the pegging. Certain hand constructs such as A-A-2-? or A-2-3-? and even some hands with high-card PAIRS can peg reliably well under many circumstances. My own focus in such Relative Positions is to FIRST try to stop the Dealer, and THEN worry about having enough points later. Failing to count out with First Hand Show after surviving the pegging to me is closer to VICTORY than losing the pegging battle with a large hand, or any hand for that matter!
5045 votes

Joined: March 2008

Wednesday 3:33 AM
Selling out with the smaller cards. Seems clear my best chance is to peg out. Obnoxious offense.

Wondering if the best hand is the 2457 because I probably wont get a chance to count anyway.
Gougie00 says: Arghh... We are the pone.
Andy (muesli64)
2114 votes

Joined: August 2009

Wednesday 3:41 AM
Prefer to keep the Q to avoid any run trap.
5665 votes

Joined: April 2008

Wednesday 4:10 AM
Lead card the four. Add on cuts and opponent will probably playing defense here. dec
2102 votes

Joined: March 2009

Wednesday 4:19 AM
Only an ace cut does not improve this hand to at least 6 points; 2-6 all garner 8 or more.
1135 votes

Joined: February 2009

Wednesday 4:36 AM
Agree with those above on this hold. I think more cuts propel us to at least 6 or more. If we fall a bit short, I think this hand gives us the best chance to peg the difference. Gotta lead from power here and lead the 4, giving us the most options on the next play.
3260 votes

Joined: June 2013

Wednesday 5:30 AM
Nice puzzle Rob.
4 lead from 4-2-5 eleven.
1342 votes

Joined: September 2014

Wednesday 5:32 AM
It's like you were doing 9-5 drills and decided to up the ante and make it the 7-4 challenge. As much as I'd love an out card here, if I come up short I'll be having nightmares, so first must give myself the best shot to go out and the best shot only have to peg one if I come up short. Lead from strength with the 4 as others have mentioned.
452 votes

Joined: April 2021

Wednesday 5:40 AM
I think we have to go for it here, and keeping (2 4 4 5) clearly gives you the most cuts to win if you are not able to peg the remainder of points here. Although there is a risk here because you do not really have an escape card, a danger card with the 5, and dealer is only 4 pts away, I believe other throws undermine your chances and your cuts to be able to count out from 7 away. Leading the 4 and hoping for the best!
MiketheExpert says: After the Q cut, we only need to peg 1 while preventing dealer from pegging 4, a quite doable task...let's hope that dealer doesn't respond to our 4 lead with a 3, and force us into an unwanted run exchange. Unfortunately you cannot always cover all your bases when behind in a tricky endgame situation such as this.
JQT says: This hand worried me greatly, per the reason you describe: actually, any of about Fourteen Replies (222, 3333, 555, 6666), or 14 DIV 45 equals 0.311 or more than 31% of the remaining deck, would likely lead to immediate trouble and the risk of the Dealer 'snagging' a Four-Card RUN, possibly winning before half of the pegging has completed. See me reply about this (above) beneath my original posting.
2376 votes

Joined: November 2014

Wednesday 5:51 AM
Need to keep the best hand to get 6 or more points. That's the 2-4-4-5
679 votes

Joined: June 2020

Wednesday 6:10 AM
Yep. Even i can count the losers with this keep. With a Q cut, Dealers reply to my four lead is the key to this game.
552 votes

Joined: January 2021

Wednesday 6:13 AM
It came down to Q-7 vs 2-7 for me. I took the hand with the most cuts for 6+, even though I would have liked a less bunched hand for the pegging.
574 votes

Joined: May 2019

Wednesday 7:07 AM
Only the 8 or 9 doesn't give us 6 points. I think this hold is more likely to produce a go and we have an out card.
574 votes

Joined: May 2019

Wednesday 7:08 AM
Only the 8 or 9 doesn't give us 6 points. I think this hold is more likely to produce a go and we have an out card.
MiketheExpert says: This is food for thought, because there is much less risk of dealer pegging out before we get the chance to count, but a lot of cuts which leave us at exactly 6 pts, for where we still need 1 pt to peg (which should happen more often than not), but by no means guaranteed.
MiketheExpert says: This is definitely the correct keep if we were at hole 115 :-)
JQT says: It's so easy for a motivated Dealer to peg Four Holes (3.5 Holes is Average), and so I contend that at (115-117*) that this is essentially the same puzzle, and we primarily need to DEFEND during the pegging.
MiketheExpert says: This hand can defend better than the chosen keep of (2 4 4 5), and so we have 8 probable losing cuts (the 8 and 9). But we are still not guaranteed of holding dealer to less than 4 pts, for sure. Let's contrast with the keep of (2 4 4 7). Now we have 19 cuts which will fail to get us 6 pts (AAAA,TTTT,JJJJ,QQQ,KKKK), thus having to score 3 pts as pone, but most likely a significantly improved chance of holding dealer to under his average. We can also probably reasonably exclude the J cuts, as I will say from hole 119, we have an almost nil chance of holding dealer to only 1 pegging point.
MiketheExpert says: If we are at 115, then we only have to peg 2, and not 3, which can make a significant dangerous...So I retract the statement this is "definitely" the correct keep....Now it seems entirely possible we should trade the "difference" of loser cuts for the better defending potential and only having to peg 2, as opposed to 3 which is much more difficult as pone.
MiketheExpert says: * significant dangerous = significant difference
JQT says: I enjoy reading the ideas of others! We agree on most factors, but I think where you and I may differ today is that I place more emphasis on first trying to survive the pegging battle, and then I will tally my First Hand Show if I happen to survive. Many others today seem to be concerned with having enough points, although I do find that this particular hand is a bit more "balanced" and leaning in my direction! At some further distance, as Pone, we need to 'cover' more points, and yet at some closer distance, the Dealer produces more of a threat, after which we must, in my opinion, be more defensive.
11 votes

Joined: June 2022

Wednesday 7:33 AM
I need 7 to finish and am counting first. I have 4 in the hand and every cut with the exception of an ace helps me, plus I have a 3 card "Magic Eleven". The Q cut adds 2 for a total of 6 points, so I need to make up the remaining point in the play. I will lead the 4 and hope they pair or drop a 7 or 10 card. I like my chances in this squeaker of a 4th street finish.
Eolus619 says: Welcome to CHOD
Eolus619 says: Geeez. I was really enthusiastic !
james500 says: Hi Nelson
Nelson says: Thank you both kindly, and enthusiasm is certainly preferred over the converse.😀
893 votes

Joined: July 2016

Wednesday 7:44 AM
I thought it was more important to give myself best chance to go out. Should have pegged better early on so Dealer wasn't so close. Lead a 4.
Fender Bass
363 votes

Joined: July 2021

Wednesday 7:45 AM
Held the 7 to help get at least one pegging point.
JQT says: This hand worried me as much as Keep (2 4 4 5): Once we begin with our 4 Card Lead, again, after any of about Fourteen Replies (222, 3333, 555, 6666), or 14 DIV 45 equals 0.311 or more than 31% of the remaining deck, would likely lead to immediate trouble and the risk of the Dealer 'snagging' a Four-Card RUN, possibly winning before half of the pegging has completed. See me reply about this (above) beneath my original posting.
bbaer1 says: A seven lead is interesting here. We know how dealer likes to make the count 11. Would also work against XXXX or XXX5.
JQT says: There's some chance that the Dealer might unload any of the Sixteen "X" Cards, but I would guess that there's less chance that a Dealer would unload all of the Seven Cards (777, 8888) that can score on a 7 Card Lead. It's all about what happens IF we can get away with it, so with (4 4 5 7), let's say the Dealer plays a 6 Card in response to your 7 Card Lead. Now what? Only (2 4 4 7) or (4 4 7 Q) allows an "out" card in reserve. Else, it is probably best to lead from the PAIR, since then Pone retains a maximum variety.
Fender Bass says: Thanks for the interesting comments. I'm glad I checked back. I think I'd lead the 4.
30 votes

Joined: May 2022

Wednesday 8:19 AM
Close ! since I count first ?
229 votes

Joined: April 2021

Wednesday 8:51 AM
In case the cut or pegging do not go my way, I feel this keep gives me a fighting chance. Leading the 5 might be an interesting choice.
MiketheExpert says: With dealer at hole 117, leading the 5 is out of the question for me. Have to try and defend as best as possible with our pair of 4's in order to prevent dealer from scoring his needed pegs...And we'll usually get our peg needed with this hand if we can also limit dealer, but alas, there is the rub.
JQT says: I'd be more inclined to lead a 5 Card from (4 4 5 Q), but it's a very interesting idea: If you "get away with it," you need to have an "answer" if Dealer plops down a Trey or a 6 Card, and the Queen would do nicely, since a Count of Twenty-One is "safe" if Dealer already did not score (15=2). This shows how a 5 Card Lead can tell you quite a bit about the composition of the Dealer's Hand. It's an interesting tactic, but not so much with this particular hand; with (4 4 5 Q), it might actually work!
4951 votes

Joined: October 2007

Wednesday 2:23 PM
There are 3 ways to start with 4pts - 2-4-4-5 (7-Q), 4-4-5-7 (2-Q) and 4-4-5-Q (2-7):

2-4-4-5: 4pts - 4¼pts (Schell: 4.32) = -¼pt

4-4-5-7: 4pts - 4½pts (Schell: 4.56) = -½pt

4-4-5-Q: 4pts - 5pts (Schell: 4.97) = -1pt


2-4-4-5: Improves with 222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 777, 8888, 9999 + 15xXs = 42 cuts = 42/46 = 91.3% up to 8/12/14pts with 222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 9999 = 20 cuts.

4-4-5-7: Improves with 222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 777, 8888 + 15xXs = 38 cuts = 38/46 = 82.6% up to 8/12/16pts with 3333, 44, 6666, 777 = 13 cuts.

4-4-5-Q: Improves with AAAA, 222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 777 + 15xXs = 38/46 = 82.6% up to 8/10/14pts with AAAA, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, QQQ = 20 cuts.


We need seven points to go out but Dealer must not peg 4pts. So our pegging strategy will depend on the cut.


I think we need a flexible hand which will peg well playing Offense or Defense depending on the cut.


2-4-4-5 is best for starting value by ½pt and it also has the cuts for 8pts or more. Both 4-4-5-7 have 8 cuts (AAAA, 9999) and 4-4-5-Q (8888, 9999) that have no increase in value. 2-4-4-5 has a 3-card magic eleven so I think will peg well. Therefore I'll throw the 7-Q.
MiketheExpert says: I like the analysis, but should mention there is a 4th way to start with 4 pts, that being the (2 4 4 7)!
4493 votes

Joined: November 2008

Wednesday 8:45 PM
Am choosing optimal strategy needing 7 points to win. Needing 7 points to win, seems need to start with four points. Lead a four spot, would triple for six if paired to put me at hole 120 with two remaining cards. Will have to take some risks if dealer plays a small card such as 2 or trey on my lead. Often the four lead draws a mid-card response (9/7) although that is far less predictable in end-game scenarios such as this.
Ras2829 says: After the cut, n/d still needs a peg. If the four lead was safe will drop the remaining four as second card pegged, then the deuce. By keeping the count low as it advances, dealer just might drop two cards to my one at some point. That would shift winning prospects in n/d direction.
Ras2829 says: Pegging that one hole as n/d is not easy - need some luck here to grab it and avoid giving up the four pegs that dealer will obviously try to score.