September 19, 2022

*** This hand was suggested by scottcrib
86-85*  ?
Total votes: 262
scottcribGame Colony hand.
4026 votes

Joined: October 2008

Monday 3:00 AM
We are Pone at Hole 86, and obtaining our average Ten Points by completion of this deal will allow us to become Next Dealer at the Fourth Street Par Hole 96.

If managing to perform this feat requires that we send Two Points 'over the board,' I am just about as comfortable with Toss (5 J) as I am with Toss (6 9), since the former allows us to retain an additional Two Points right from the get-go.

Many may prefer to Keep (2 3 5 J) and Toss (6 9) today, and I'll admit that it's the "safe(r)" way to approach this puzzle. But sometimes, "safe" needs to take a Holiday!

Our main concern in this Relative Position is achieving our own "target" and not trying to diminish the Dealer's movement, in my opinion. Thus, let's retain the FLUSH here and throw the riskier Toss (5 J).

After the King of Clubs Cut, we now have Nine Points in our Hand, and we'd like to peg as far into the next "zone" as we can without giving away too much to our Opponent.

The 6 Card would seem to make a good Lead Card, since if it is either PAIRED or if Dealer scores (15=2), we can parry for Two Points of our own. And so, many might lead the 6 Card from the FLUSH.

The Trey seems to be a logical lead as well, although I do like to lead a 9 Card from such hands, since the Dealer can sometimes be 'caught' responding with a Trey. Let's lead the 9 Card and continue to be opportunistic.
5589 votes

Joined: March 2008

Monday 3:10 AM
Yes, I saw the flush. Prefer to throw away the 69 to hold this better pegger.

Lead the 3?
MiketheExpert says: I think if I were to hold it this way and having 8 pts after the cut card, I'd lead the most aggressive option of the J with this hold in trying to score 2+ for the pegging.
3786 votes

Joined: June 2013

Monday 3:15 AM
Reasonable chance to finish this hand at/beyond hole 96.
Not sure what to make of that cut. It helps us both, but who does it help more?
As John has already pointed out, a 6 lead is covered by the 3 and 9, a 3 lead is covered by the 9 and perhaps also the 2. I'll lead the 6.
3966 votes

Joined: April 2011

Monday 4:40 AM
Keeping max points and a good pegging hand. Leading the three. Hope to see most of you in Omaha this week.
scottcrib says: See you in Omaha!
cribbagepogo says: I'll be the one with the white carnation.
3562 votes

Joined: February 2011

Monday 5:42 AM
I need nine points to attain par. This should be the best way to do it as only cuts of a five or eight don’t help my hand. Plus all club cuts help, including the aforementioned five or eight.
636 votes

Joined: December 2021

Monday 5:58 AM
I had a hard time throwing 5,J or 2,9.
2883 votes

Joined: November 2014

Monday 6:22 AM
I think I want to play position first here - I need to get to ~95 and my opponent is a bit behind their par hole so close my eyes and toss the 5-J.
1206 votes

Joined: June 2020

Monday 6:28 AM
Nice quandary puzzle Scott. Good card luck in Omaha to you and all the CHODers who are attending. The pegs tell the tale. The goal…At the end of this cycle current Pone needs to be counting first from 111+ & current dealer needs to be dealing from 116 or less. To get there , dealing first from 96+ is important for Pone. Of Ras’s top ten most frequent dealer discards to own crib , a Pone sending a six helps six of them. Today I will send the J-5 and my keep has only two losers.
scottcrib says: Thanks Bruce.
scottcrib says: Good card luck will definitely be needed to make up for my card playing deficiencies.
1307 votes

Joined: February 2009

Monday 6:43 AM
I’m with Gary today-safe travels to all my friends going to Omaha
scottcrib says: Dr. Pegger won't be there? :-(
mrob2199 says: Oh I will be Scott
scottcrib says: Ah, good.
985 votes

Joined: April 2021

Monday 6:57 AM
Uggh...I hate it, but gotta keep the flush and throw the dangerous (5 J) here....Even at the potential of giving 20+ pts to dealer, there is no room for defense, so I am keeping 6-pt flush with good pegging prospects (3-card magic 11) to make every effort and get to that 4th street par hole. Yes, it goes against the grain for me....but I see no other alternative here.
MiketheExpert says: Well, the Kc gives me a 9-pt hand, so I'll toss a coin and lead either the 3 or 6...(the 6 gives me a great shot at getting 2, but I can 15-2 a paired 3 on my opening lead, and 15-2 any face card reply, so I'm a little torn between these two opening leads..
MiketheExpert says: I think I'll give the trey opening the "slight" edge here.
1498 votes

Joined: August 2019

Monday 7:13 AM
I figured the flush would get some takers at this position. Thank you for your comments.
1075 votes

Joined: January 2021

Monday 7:53 AM
Add 26 to both scores and we see in two "average" hands we're at 112-111*. This says offense to me, since we want to get ourselves closer to 121 for the first count in a few hands, and dealer needs to be +10 over two hands to have gone out, or +6 to be "only" 4 pegs from pegging out before we show.

Or, said more immediately, we need to get as far into the 95/96+ zone as possible, and have some room for aggression.

Leading the 3. Would like a couple points in the pegging if possible, but with the J-5 going over, don't feel I'm in a position to get into a huge pegging war (and I would think dealer is likely to peg more defensively today depending on starting points in hand).
MiketheExpert says: My preference for the 3 lead for this reason - would rather peg without more damage than necessary - an unanswered 4 would be perfect!
Inushtuk1 says: Hi Mike. I think you are right. If I had it to do over, I would have led my 3, and tried for the (15-2), and the (31-2), if Dealer plays two X-Cards. Oh well.
1343 votes

Joined: July 2016

Monday 8:08 AM
Nothing to defend here. Keep the flush. Lead the 6 from the Magic 11.
714 votes

Joined: April 2021

Monday 8:27 AM
Flush to move on down the board. I think I will also start with the 6.
69 votes

Joined: April 2022

Monday 11:28 AM
I'm not going to throw Mr. man the J-5, and I'm keeping the 6-5 as the best of all possible 11's as well as for run possibilities. Not going to give him the 2-3.
Everyone is saying this is no time for defense, but you could help create a crib that could lead to disaster.
I still like my choice.
glmccuskey says: FYI, a two card magic eleven is no good as non dealer.
Ras2829 says: HI glmccuskey: Thanks for mentioning that two card 11's do not work for non-dealer. That point is very poorly understood even by folks who have played a lifetime. Three-card elevens from heaven work for either player (A-A-9, 2-2-7, 3-3-5, 4-4-3, 5-5-A in particular). There are others without the pair such as A-2-8, 2-3-6, 4-5-2 that score 31-2 frequently. Four card ll's can be dynamite for the dealer though don't do much for n/d (A-A-A-8, 2-2-2-5, 3-3-3-2 in particular. Dealer will often peg 31-8 with these cards whereas n/d does not do so whether leading from the single or triple. Some 3-card magic elevens like A-2-8, 2-3-6, or 4-5-2 will often close the count for 31-2 either side of the board. There are some four card 11's, not including a triple that peg very well. A-2-3-5 does very well for dealer on a X-point lead often resulting in 15-2 and the play of the A-2-3 for 31-5. Can impact one's game considerably to recognize these differences. Game for dealer and non-dealer are much different from the outset (hand retention, discard, and pegging).
wetbomb says: Well that's why I'm here - to publicly display my ignorance and get an education so thank you very much. I got the book "Play Winning Cribbage", but it doesn't give nearly this much detail about the magic 11s. Maybe I need a new book.
Ras2829 says: Hi wetbomb; Never wrote a book though have mountains of material relative to crib strategy. YOu can e-mail me any old time at No question is ever considered frivolous as curiosity is the key to all learning. Immensely appreciate your interest in this wonder of a game.
JQT says: Two-card Elevens can often be of some value for Pone if a Ten (or "X") Card sits alongside it. In this instance, it forms a three-card "Twenty-One" and it seeks to work against a Dealer with all X Cards, or at least one of them. If we lead a Ten Card and the Dealer responds with another Ten Card (PAIR or not), we might assume the Dealer has no 5 Card, and so then we play our 6 Card, bringing the Count up to Twenty-Six. Now, if Dealer says "go," then we play our 5 Card for (31-2). In this manner, we can indeed sometimes use a "Magic Eleven" as Pone, or more precisely, it is a three-card Twenty-One formation. If you desperately need to peg Two Holes, this kind of pegging maneuver can be more reliable than the more commonly deployed 5 Card Lead, which of course only works if Dealer takes the (15=2) "bait," and if we have the "matching" Ten Card (or "X").
5483 votes

Joined: October 2007

Monday 1:59 PM
I think it's probably between 2-3-6-9 (5-J), 2-3-5-J (6-9) and perhaps 3-5-6-J (2-9):

2-3-6-9: 6pts - 8pts (Schell: 7.76) = -2pts

2-3-5-J: 4pts - 6¼pts (Schell: 6.26) = -2¼pts

3-5-6-J: 2pts - 4¾pts (Schell: 4.70) = -2¾pts


2-3-6-9: Improves with AAAA, 222, 333, 4444, 666, 7777, 999 + 15xXs = 39 cuts = 39/46 = 84.8% up to 10/11/12/13pts AAAA, 333, 4444, 666, 999 = 17 cuts. Plus 9 club cuts for 1pt extra for the flush = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

2-3-5-J: Improves with AAAA, 222, 333, 4444, 555, 7777, 8888 + 15xXs = 40 cuts = 40/46 = 87.0% up to 7/8/10pts with AAAA, 222, 333, 4444, 555 + 15xXs = 32 cuts. Plus 9 club cuts for 1pt extra for his nob = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

3-5-6-J: Improves with AAAA, 222, 333, 4444, 555, 666, 7777, 999 + 15xXs = 42 cuts = 42/46 = 91.3% up to 6/7/8pts with 4444, 555, 666, 7777, JJJ = 17 cuts. Plus 9 club cuts for 1pt extra for his nob = 9/46 = 0.20pt.


We're in position to reach 4th street positional hole at 96pts but Dealer is already at 85pts and on average will reach 101pts for next deal. The further past 96pts we can achieve the better our winning chances so I'll play Offense.


I think 2-3-6-9 will peg best as it has a 3-card magic eleven and it will be hard to read.


2-3-6-9 is best for starting value by ¼pt over 2-3-5-J and although 2-3-5-J has slightly more cuts for improvement and 32 cuts for 7-10pts, 2-3-6-9 has 17 cuts for 10-13pts plus I think it will peg better. So I'll throw the 5-J.
5194 votes

Joined: February 2008

Monday 2:01 PM
At 86-85* playing an Offense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Offense___Hand_Pegs_Crib___Total____W2 %____W3 %

Offense_______L2 %____L3 %

2-3-5-J is best for expected averages by 0.21pt. over 2-3-6-9 but 2-3-6-9 is best for Win %s and in this position approaching 4th street positional hole I think these are more important and even though it's not very low for Loss %s because of the very risky 5-J I'll still select that to discard.

After the KC cut I'll lead the 9 and play Offense:

Lead______________Our Pegging Pts.
scottcrib says: So often my lead and Hal's suggested lead do not match. I guess in this case he's hoping for a run of some sort at the end.
5016 votes

Joined: November 2008

Monday 7:24 PM
Actually, JQT said most of what I would say early this day. Dealer is 10 holes short of 4th street CPZ (95-99); n/d should be choosing offense to include the pegging. N/d needs nine points out of this hand to reach 4th street CPZ (95-99). After the cut we have 9 points. Let's try to pick up a few pegs by leading the nine spot. If dealer is holding a trey, will often drop on a 9 lead. Leading a 7 when holding a four spot works the same way even more often as folks love to make the count 11. Here by leading the 9, we retain three smaller cards 2-3-6 which often score a 31-2 or pick up pairs or run of three. If not leading the 9-spot, my choice would be the six.
Ras2829 says: If you've decided to downshift to defense strategy once knowing n/d has nine points, then the trey or six become the correct leads.