August 2, 2022

*** This hand was suggested by James500
47*-58  ?
Total votes: 277
2209 votes

Joined: March 2017

Tuesday 3:06 AM
Thought about tossing 88 to my crib…but liked the 5 10 a little better. Think I’d also peg better with the 3488 keep.
1028 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 3:10 AM
Also like the 5-X to the crib while holding a 6 point hand that should also peg very well
scottcrib says: Congrats on winning your club this past year!
3542 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 3:18 AM
As we celebrate that great English VICTORY by the Lionesses, we remember that Cribbage originated over four hundred years ago in England, and was brought to the American shores by English settlers, where it became quite popular in the colonies, especially in New England. And we are fortunate to have a few players who regularly post here at "Hand of the Day" from England.

Today we are the Dealer sitting Three Holes beyond the Second Street Par Hole 44, while Pone is Eleven Holes ahead of us at Hole 58. Positionally, I believe we are in somewhat more control of this game, and (without first checking out his wife) I don't believe I would wish to trade places with our Opponent.

Insofar as "nice-looking arrangements" go, we dealt ourselves a nice array of cards here, and it contains a RUN, a PAIR, several combinations of Fifteens, and a FLUSH. But we cannot retain all of these, so let's pick-and-choose what we like best today.

As the Dealer, we seek balance, harmony, and a "eutectic" approach that will serve to make our combined Pegging, and Hand and Crib scores, add up to be the highest total. I've borrowed the word "eutectic" from chemistry because if you understand precisely what it means, I think it describes rather nicely our efforts as the Dealer in Cribbage.

If we look at something far more ancient than the game of Cribbage and examine the field of metallurgy, we know that both tin and lead were in use even before the Bronze Age, which preceded the Iron Age. Even today, we still join metal such as copper wire together physically and electrically with solder, which is in many instances a mixture of about 60% lead and 40% tin.

It was discovered long ago that lead, by itself, was more difficult to work with and melted at a higher temperature when in pure form than when it had tin mixed with it. And tin, by itself, is even more difficult to work with and form than lead.

But with the right mixture of these two metals, the melting temperature of the resultant product actually goes down, and the mixture becomes much more workable, and thus more useful. If we graph the properties of this mixture as we adjust the amount of lead and tin, we find that there is a "eutectic" point at which the mixture exhibits all of the good properties that we desire!

I realize that this is a rather long-winded description of something that might seemingly have nothing at all to do with Cribbage, but when we are the Dealer and we are learning how to adjust the "mixture" of our Hand and our Crib, this known effect in metallurgy is an exact analogy the same process, as we see that too much of either "metal" creates a poor end product!

This same process works between water and sodium, allowing salt on an icy road to make it safer to drive upon, and it works between ethanol and water (this is why distillation cannot produce 100% ethanol, but it can come exceedingly close!).

As the Dealer in Cribbage, precisely the same thing can happen: Too much held in our Hand, without regard for what such a decision does to our Crib, is just as bad as placing too much emphasis in the Crib, without any regard for what this does to our Hand. We must seek a healthy "balance."

There is a good reason why newer players almost always discover that Discarding while Pone is easier than Discarding while we are the Dealer. As Pone, we wish to retain the GOOD stuff, and get rid of or discard the BAD stuff. But as the Dealer, we seek a COMBINED maximum effect or result from the totals of our Pegging, our Hand, and our Crib. And the Pegging can be our absolute movement, or it can often involve that more intricate nature of our Relative Movement, which looks at how far we move relative to how far Pone pegs in comparison.

Some hand arrangements, such as the one we had yesterday (4 5 5 7 7 8), lend themselves to a logical "split," and some arrangements do not. Today, we can see that after Keep (3 4 8 8) and Toss (5 T), while we do break up the 3-4-5 RUN, we leave intact a Hand of Six Points, and we get a nice, 5-T or Fifteen Combination in our Crib.

Another obvious 'clean break' is to Keep (3h 4h 8h Th) and Toss (5 8), which also gets a 5 Card into our Crib, and leaves us with the FLUSH intact, and a Hand of Six Points. The idea of Keep (3 4 5 T) and Toss (8 8) has some small appeal, as it retains a RUN and Five Points in our Hand, and it does get a PAIR in the Crib, but this idea appears to be inferior to the first two ideas.

A 5 Card in our Crib is far more likely to "find help" than a PAIR of 8 Cards: Pone will usually not relinquish any 7 Cards if it can be avoided, and since we already hold half of the 8 Cards, this rank is implicitly scarce, since we dealt ourselves two of them!

We are therefore trying to determine whether the FLUSH or the (3 4 8 8) is the better choice today. Positionally, we are already in fairly good shape, being Three Holes beyond our "target," but Pone is only Two Holes 'shy' of being able to get back "on track," and so Defensive Pegging will be a paramount strategy for us today. Since a FLUSH can be any of the thirteen ranks, and since it never involves a PAIR, it is often well "suited" (notice the pun) to peg defensively, and it is appropriate that we factor this in to our calculation and decision today.

It's important to interject here that while a FLUSH is usually a good hand for Defensive Pegging, it is not always the best hand, and that sometimes a FLUSH may not even be a good Defensive Pegging hand at all, such as (3h 4h 5h 6h)! Today, half of our FLUSH begins in this manner, but then the 8 Card and the Ten "T" intercede and offer us some defensive resources.

The important question to ask ourselves is, "Can we peg defensively with the other hand just as well?" We must look at Keep (3 4 8 8) and try to ascertain whether it's a dangerous pegging hand or not. It may not be a great defensive pegging hand, but it does appear to be more than adequate, and every bit as good as the FLUSH!

What now remains? Toss (5 8) will always produce at least Two Points, that is certain; but Toss (5 T) ALREADY contains Two Points! Therefore, the Crib Value of Toss (5 T) is definitely higher than the Crib Value of Toss (5 8). The FLUSH is therefore only the better choice today if it can gain us more points, or peg that much more defensively for us than the Keep (3 4 8 8) hand, and I don't think that it can.

Let's Keep (3 4 8 8) and Toss (5 T). And, I hope the little dissertation on metallurgy and chemistry (and off-beat humour) wasn't too distracting. After the 4 Card Cut, we now have a Hand of a Dozen Points, and prospects for a good Crib. We should still peg very carefully, since this is the only way we can control Pone's movement when we are the Dealer. Let's take only "safe" points!
Eolus619 says: John..interesting metallurgical tutorial…the world is full of ratios involving the most simple applications…ask any bread baker if ratios are important !
fentesk says: The only distraction for me was reading a little too quickly and initially thinking you said we had some of the posters here that were part of the settlers group that brought Cribbage from England 400 years ago...
JQT says: Yes, we have their mummified remains! ⚰
5097 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 3:21 AM
We're all singing from the same hymnbook this morning. Anecdotal evidence suggests that 88 rarely gets any help from the opponent in the crib. 5-10 usually gets a K-Q.
scottcrib says: Congrats on winning your club this past year!
Gougie00 says: There is a story that goes with that. Al Miller had a 100+ plus lead on the rest of us. But Al got sick and died in February. Took me 3 months to pass him.
Ras2829 says: Hi Gougie00: What a gracious tribute to Al Miller. He was w wonder and did so much for organized cribbage at the club level and nationally as well. Congratulations on winning your club championship even so.
5721 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 3:31 AM
5-8 for about a second then the real keep showed up. dec
1011 votes

Joined: August 2019

Tuesday 3:47 AM
The big hand rule again.
Eolus619 says: interesting cursory info on cut help for a flush…today the flush gets help from 2,3,4,5,7,8 & 10…3-4-8-8 gets help from 2,3,4,5,7,& 8.
scottcrib says: Flush also benefits from an A.
Eolus619 says: Scott…right it does..nice pickup on the count ..A-4
4548 votes

Joined: November 2008

Tuesday 4:15 AM
With opponent at hole 58 needing to deal from 3rd street CPZ (69-73), will choose defense to keep short of that target. Knowing that dealer has a guaranteed peg, 12 points after the starter, an assured two points in crib (5-10 average is 6.698), take pegs that are reasonably safe. If we can slow n/d on this hand, dealer should be able to improve relative position, considering the averages. Don't hope for a mid-card lead, don't pair an 8 lead or take 15-2 on a 7. Would play the 4 spot on 7-8-9 and the trey on a six lead. Play an 8 on X-point leads of J-Q-K and play the trey on a 10. If a small card lead, would play the trey on an /ace, and the 8H on 2-3-4-5. Good idea to have such responses in mind when looking at the cards. Avoid pairing along the way unless count advances high enough to prevent a pairs-royal for six pegs.
3308 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 5:27 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with John's praise for the Lionesses. The image of Chloe Kelly wheeling away from goal swinging her shirt above her head, has been in every newspaper and on every TV news bulletin since. I haven't tired of it yet, and I'm not sure that I ever will.

With regards today's puzzle, I'd like to try the flush since it recieves help from so many other cuts, and affords me the luxury of a 5 card in my crib. 5-T and 8-8 are pretty good options though. I reckon that it might be close between those three hands come Hal's analysis later on today, and I look forward to reading the posts in support of each option.
scottcrib says: My friends and I have been doing some cursory analysis of what percentage of time a flush gets help from the cut card. It's looking like 75% or even higher.
Eolus619 says: has been a long drought 1966 to 2022 for English soccer in major tournaments might want to reconsider the jersey tear off to celebrate ...maybe need a few pints to encourage it
Eolus619 says: BTW…recovering from an ACL injury, scoring the winning goal, in extra time ,on home turf , in front of 90,000 fans, ending a 56 year national soccer team losing streak…whew
james500 says: And most importantly Bruce, it was against Germany.
2141 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 5:52 AM
All things being equal, prefer a 5X toss over 58 or 88, as we are still holding a combined 8 points compared to the flush. 34510 offers a possible double-run but a starting value of 7 points. Goodbye 510!
729 votes

Joined: June 2020

Tuesday 6:20 AM
Much work to be done on improving board position.
When I can, I try to break up runs with a five at either & avoid tossing pairs to myself unless ithey are 3s, 5s, or 7s.

469 votes

Joined: July 2020

Tuesday 7:23 AM
I like Gougie's phrasing, "we're all singing from the same hymnbook."
613 votes

Joined: May 2019

Tuesday 7:36 AM
What Rob said.
80 votes

Joined: May 2022

Tuesday 8:13 AM
I guess I am just flush crazy !
1054 votes

Joined: June 2016

Tuesday 8:35 AM
It was between 58C or the 5-10. I wanted the pone to have a little more difficulty in reading my hand during play. I may be able to get the count in my favor during the play. If the flush was not in play, the 5-10 would be my choice.
Eolus619 says: Welcome. Stay involed
2425 votes

Joined: November 2014

Tuesday 9:05 AM
Normally, it pays to flush.... but today I'm going with the 3-4-8-8 and 5-T in my crib. Sorry Mike - you must be disappointed in me LOL :-)
504 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 9:56 AM
I think I'll be able to defend about as well with throwing the (5-10) into my crib vs. keeping the flush, thus the tiebreaker becomes the hand+crib potential, an keeping the 6 pts with the (5-10) superior crib throw thus wins out at this relative score. Do not take any chances on pegging other than safe pegs. I do not under any circumstances want to give up a triple and will try to prevent any runs, thus this means no 15-2 on a 7 lead by pone.
MiketheExpert says: My picture shows the flush, however I am keeping (3 4 8 8) and throwing the (5 10) per my comments.
MiketheExpert says: My picture shows the flush, however I am keeping (3 4 8 8) and throwing the (5 10) per my comments.
Gougie00 says: Thou shalt not change thine mind.
Gougie00 says: Thou shalt not change thine mind.
MiketheExpert says: I would still be happy either way in honesty, as I don't think there is a lot to choose between the two. But it seems CHOD has automatically changed it now :)
MiketheExpert says: I would still be happy either way in honesty, as I don't think there is a lot to choose between the two. But it seems CHOD has automatically changed it now :)
JQT says: Those who change mind are punished with reply echoes! 📢
JQT says: Those who change mind are punished with reply echoes! 📢
1160 votes

Joined: January 2012

Tuesday 11:53 AM
I’ll fade the public here - I prefer the flush for a little more flexibility, though it’s an extremely close call with 3488 here.

4997 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 1:09 PM
Three likely hands 3-4-8H-10 (5-8C), 3-4-5-10 (8-8) and 3-4-8-8 (5-10):

3-4-8H-10: 6pts + 5½pts (Schell: 5.48) = 11½pts

3-4-5-10: 5pts + 5¾¾ts (Schell: 5.45) = 10¾pts

3-4-8-8: 6pts + 6½pts (Schell: 6.66) = 12½pts


3-4-8H-10: Improves with AAAA, 2222, 333, 444, 555, 7777, 88, 9999, 101010 = 30 cuts = 30/46 = 65.2% up to 9/10/11pts with 2222, 333, 444, 555, 88, 9999 = 19 cuts. Plus 9 heart cuts for 1pt extra for the flush = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

3-4-5-10: Improves with AAAA, 2222, 333, 444, 555, 6666, 7777, 88 + 15xXs = 42 cuts = 42/46 = 91.3% up to 8/9/10/12pts with 2222, 333, 444, 555, 6666, 101010 = 20 cuts.

3-4-8-8: Improves with 2222, 333, 444, 555, 7777, 88 = 19 cuts = 19/46 = 41.3% up to 9/10/12pts with all cuts.


We're 3pts past 2nd street positional hole and Pone is 2pts short of where they would like to be so I'll play Defense.


Playing Defense I think the flush and 3-4-8-8 will peg well.


3-4-5-10 has the most cuts for improvement and 20 cuts for 8-12pts. However it has the lowest starting value and is 1¾pts behind 3-4-8-8. 3-4-8H-10 has the next most cuts for improvement and 19 cuts for 9-11pts plus an extra 0.20pt. for a heart cut but the starting value is still 1pt. behind 3-4-8-8 which has 19 cuts for 9-12pts (8 of which score 12pts. 333, 444, 88). I think 3-4-8-8 will also peg best so I'll throw the 5-10.
275 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 3:10 PM
Yo probably do not want to hear me sing. So I did not pick up the hymnbook and decided to flush. But, 3-4-8-8 was a close second and could have been my choice. Much like should we have the Petite Verdot or the Cab Franc tonight?
MiketheExpert says: I think the flush is slightly better from a defensive point of view, but not quite enough better to push into 1st place. But my primary concern is certainly defense, and I would not object at all to choosing the flush for even a "slight" improvement here.