September 22, 2022

*** This hand was suggested by scottcrib
100*-111  ?
Total votes: 213
3830 votes

Joined: October 2008

Thursday 3:20 AM
If we can get our Three Counts as Current Dealer and Next Non Dealer, we could more often than not be able to reach the Finish Line and WIN this game.

The problem, however, is that our Opponent only needs Ten Points in order to defeat us. Pone's average tally is Ten Points, but even if we defend well, we risk that our Opponent will go out during the pegging as the Next Dealer, when our Opponent will enjoy the Pegging Advantage.

This probably gives us two options: Either we must defend so well that Pone cannot get close enough to peg out as the Next Dealer, or; we must try to get a combined Twenty-One Points by completion of this deal.

Whether we try a Defensive Stand or make a rush for the Finish Line, we still have to retain a fairly good Hand. I often state that many players worry too much about scoring points in Dealer Endgame Battles, but this Relative Score requires that we keep moving!

It appears that we could either Keep (4 4 7 J) and Toss (5 J), or we could Keep (4 4 5 7) and Toss (J J), or we could Keep (5 7 J J) and Toss (4 4), or we might even Keep (4 4 J J) and Toss (5 7). The question appears to be what to do with our 5 Card and whether to split up the Jacks.

If we hold the 5 Card in our Hand with the two 4 Cards, we're seeking Cut Cards such as (3333, 6666); but if we place the 5 Card into our Crib, we should peg more safely, and we also would seek to obtain a larger Crib.

Alternately, if we Toss (4 4), we retain the most points in our Hand, and we might peg fairly defensively since we no longer have to worry about the 4-4-5 getting trapped. While I don't usually look to throw a PAIR into our Crib, the 4 Cards might "Catch an Ace" from the Cut Card or from Pone, and give us a good Crib.

The Keep (4 4 J J) and Toss (5 7) is a real "desperation" decision, because it almost depends upon a good Cut Card, either an Ace or a matching 4 Card or Jack. But this is a very clever idea, and it probably will peg the most defensively of any choice we make today.

I believe we can reduce our four ideas above down to two main choices: either Toss (4 4) or Toss (5 7), and I'm steering towards the former over the latter. While the 5 Card can be a dangerous pegging liability, it also gets us the most points if it's held alongside the two Jacks.

Let's Keep (5 7 J J) and Toss (4 4). Toss (5 7) would probably be my Second Choice, with Toss (5 J) rounding out the Top Three on the podium. Thus, I would place Toss (J J) quite a distance down the list of solutions, perhaps in Fourth Place.

After the King of Spades Cut, we now have Eight Points in our Hand, with prospects for an interesting Crib, and we must hope Pone gave us an Ace.

If Pone leads a Jack, we should probably play our 7 Card and try to dodge any possible ways that Pone might grab easy points. It's likely that we have less than a 25% chance of winning, and it really depends on the strength of Pone's Hand.

If things go poorly for Pone, we may end up in a similar place where Pone started today, around Hole 111, and it will be a great game WIN if we can then do what Pone fails to do during this deal!
MiketheExpert says: Also, if we still have the "spread" score in mind, and our sole focus is not only on trying to WIN, the defensive stance here would most likely give us greater assurance of reducing the spread points by which we lose, so that is also something worth considering.
JQT says: As stated above, the "Top Three Discard Choices" for me are Toss (4 4), Toss (5 7), Toss (5 J), and I can imagine board positions that might fit any of these. As I said in my posting, I would probably place Toss (J J) way down in Fourth Place. And so, when -- if ever -- would I actually Toss (J J)? In an Endgame Pegging Battle at say (117*-118), it would probably still not make sense to Keep (4 4 5 7) and Toss (J J), while holding a "matching" card; I would instead Keep (4 5 7 J) and Toss (4 J) for Maximum Variety. The C. Liam Brown Site lists Toss (J J) as the "Hail Mary" option, however, even in a Desperation Offense situation on an open board, I might consider Toss (4 7) instead. And thus, even in this kind of Offensive Scenario, such a crazy alternative choice as Toss (4 7) might have an edge over Toss (J J)!
MiketheExpert says: It seems you feel strongly that way, which is okay. I think at (117*-118), it would probably make more sense to keep 4 cards of differing ranks.... But it should be noted that HAL ranks (4 4 5 7) as the best average for pone pegs against (although I would have to agree it is also significantly more "dangerous"), but if I also am going for the "Hail Mary" in terms of likely maximum score, then why not? I think it at least deserves 2nd place in the voting today with (5 7 J J), so will have to be satisfied with the support of Coe and roughly 1/3 of the popular vote today :-)
3384 votes

Joined: February 2011

Thursday 3:48 AM
Job #1 for me is to keep the opponent on the board. I’ll try to accomplish that by keeping a defensive “eleven” and putting two of the most trapped cards in cribbage into my crib. That they also happen to be the third-best toss you can give yourself is an added bonus.
6012 votes

Joined: April 2008

Thursday 3:52 AM
Defensive eleven and hopefully some adjoining face cards thrown into our crib. dec
443 votes

Joined: December 2021

Thursday 4:02 AM
Not the cut i was hoping for.
james500 says: Good morning, I hope you're well. My concern with 4457, is what do you do if Pone leads/plays a 6 card at an early stage? For what it's worth, I reckon a wider spread of cards might be prudent with them so close to the finish line.
JQT says: Yes, I agree with James500. With Pone at Hole 111, and with the most likely Pone Hand already containing Six or Seven Points, all our Opponent likely needs is to peg Two or Three Holes in order to beat us today. With a Hand such as (2 6 6 9) or (3 5 6 7), it's easy to see that the more VARIETY we have as the Dealer, the better we can likely 'dodge' Pone during the pegging. Our score matters only if Pone doesn't go out via First Hand Show; otherwise, we may never get to tally our Hand or our Crib!
RedTailRogue says: James. You bring up a good point. I didn't consider a 6 being played.
790 votes

Joined: April 2021

Thursday 5:05 AM
We have conflicting interests here...In my opinion, I have to take a risk and keep a "dangerous" pegging hand with the (4 4 5 7). Pone is already too close to the exit (he has an even money chance of getting out on this hand even if we play the best defense possible), and we are still 21 points from the exit, so even if I can avoid him getting out on this hand, he will almost certainly be able to peg out on the next one if I don't. I might "play around" a little more if he was at hole 108-109, but I see no other option that going for the miracle cut (the 6), and hoping to count our hand+crib+pegging to get out on this hand. And we have to do all this at the same time while trying to prevent pone from pegging at all (hence the conflict of interest). The K cut gives us barely a fighting chance, as we are stuck with a 6-pt hand, but with our J's in the crib, we need something real good there. I have the most defensive response in mind to any lead. What do do if pone leads a 6? I'll have to falsely play "on" with the 5 next (having 2 fours myself), and figuring he may prefer to lead a 7/8 if he had these cards (especially the 7). If he has a five, I'm likely dead anyway by the time he counts his hand.
MiketheExpert says: And over the dreaded 5-card lead, I can rest assured the game is likely over with the cut, but if he is trying to deke me and somehow has a poor hand, certainly my play of pairing the 5 may come as a shock to him, if nothing else!
5388 votes

Joined: March 2008

Thursday 5:51 AM
We have to assume the pone doesn't have enough. With that premise, what hold gives me the most points? Play off to the lead.
1012 votes

Joined: June 2020

Thursday 7:09 AM
Dealer is not getting home this hand …so survive and advance to next hand which means one or zero pegs for Pone. Hold a keep that can peg defensively but has enough points to get me past 111. Also consider, do I have a keep that has a satisfactory reply to various Pone leads..I think this way I do.
Eolus619 says: an interesting extra credit assignment is..pencil out the 13 ranks and decide what your response would be to each of them if they were the lead card by Pone.
Eolus619 says: The big question is ….what is dealer’s response to a five lead?
wasa says: I'd reply a J to a 5 lead as I know where 2 of them are.
MiketheExpert says: I might consider a 5 reply...if he has another five, I think game is over regardless. He may very well decide not to play the next 5 even if he has one and can count out, and it give us a better chance for a go on the next card if our true goal is to hole pone "pointless" within the pegging.
2707 votes

Joined: November 2014

Thursday 7:54 AM
I thought I'd be more alone today, but glad to see others tossed the 5-J as well. My number one goal is to not let opponent go out, so I need to minimize their pegs. Keeping the 4-4 is good, as harder for them to double me. I don't want my 5 to be trapped, so in the crib it goes. So, toss 5-7 or toss 5-J? The 7 works with the 4-4 and the J works with the 5 so toss 5-J and play OFF so I have a chance to win this game.
MiketheExpert says: This becomes my toss with dealer sitting at hole 109 or less today.
881 votes

Joined: January 2021

Thursday 8:24 AM
With pone 10 out and us 21 and potentially having three counts if we survive the pegging, I chose the most defensive hand I could find.

We will not be pegging 21 points here, so the first order of business for me is to get to the point I get to count. If dealer has 10+ in hand, it doesn't really matter (I suppose a case could be made to peg offensively for spread points, but I don't live in that world).

I still have two pairs in hand and a 5 in my crib. I could have discarded for more offense, but I'm choosing to do what I can to live to count another hand.
MiketheExpert says: I would feel this way if I didn't think our chances would be so poor to win by living to survive the next even my "defensive" mind is saying we have to try and win it is only 5 pts above average, and certainly we will need some luck to achieve this with our concerns about pone pegs. If I felt we had a 10%+ chance to win or better by "survival", I would probably play to do so.
fentesk says: I would agree the % chance to win by survival is the correct question. We know the 6 cut is a 8.7% chance and we have 6 more cuts if we want 12 in hand tossing the J-J. While control-what-I-can-control-today is my plan, I can't say with any certainty it is the best plan.
fentesk says: I would agree the % chance to win by survival is the correct question. We know the 6 cut is a 8.7% chance and we have 6 more cuts if we want 12 in hand tossing the J-J. While control-what-I-can-control-today is my plan, I can't say with any certainty it is the best plan.
56 votes

Joined: April 2022

Thursday 8:50 AM
With pone at 111 my only concern is keeping his pegging points to as few as possible, hopefully none. If he has fewer than 10 in his hand, I'll be able to cruise right in.
4836 votes

Joined: November 2008

Thursday 10:23 AM
Matters not whether defending or playing a BOLD strategy, 5-7-J-J is the way to go. Sorry, on average holding 4-4-5-7 will give up more pegs than 5-7-J-J. On an A-2-9 lead, would get rid of the lone 5, on a trey or four lead, play the 7, on a 5 lead, score 15-2 with Jack, on 6, 7, 8 leads play a Jack, on a X-lead dump the five for 15-2. RAS would take that 15-2 as believe the lone 5 poses greater danger if retained. Often the five will not be paired as n/d may be playing 2-3-10-J or similar, need pegs, and will lead from the large cards holding the small cards to peg a run or pick off pairs at end of pegging sequence. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
MiketheExpert says: Hi Ras, pegging choice makes sense from a defensive standpoint, although I feel you are unlikely to score even your average as dealer, so I guess you are most likely looking to have a chance on your next hand count. I'd like to see what HAL calculates as the expected difference between the two hands in terms of "pegs against", and then I may have a better idea of whether the "extra" risk you take on by keeping (4 4 5 7) should be worth the additional cuts to give you a better chance of getting out on one deal. However, keeping (4 4 5 7), it would be a 5 off the leads of (A-2-5-6-9-X) cards, 7 off of (3-4) leads, and a 4 off the (7-8) leads.
MiketheExpert says: Actually, I may even consider a 5 in response to a 3 lead with my two 4's in hand....?
Ras2829 says: HI MiketheExpert:You're exactly right on playing the five on a trey lead. Often do that even when knowing of one four spot.
1300 votes

Joined: August 2019

Thursday 10:44 AM
Lots of great comments today. Thank you.
JQT says: Your puzzles have been of the highest quality.
scottcrib says: Thank you very much.
5290 votes

Joined: October 2007

Thursday 1:11 PM
I think it's between 4-5-J-J (4D-7) and 4-4-5-7 (J-J):

4-5-J-J: 6pts + 4pts (Schell: 3.72) = 10pts

4-4-5-7: 4pts + 5¼pts (Schell: 5.33) = 9¼pts


4-5-J-J: Improves with AAAA, 3333, 44, 555, 6666 + 14xXs = 31 cuts = 31/46 = 67.4% up to 9/10/11/12pts with AAAA, 3333, 555, 6666, JJ = 17 cuts. Plus 12 club and 12 heart cuts for 1pt extra for his nob = 2x12/46 = 0.52pt.

4-4-5-7: Improves with 2222, 3333, 44, 555, 6666, 777, 8888 + 14xXs = 38 cuts = 38/46 = 82.6% up to 8/12/16pts with 3333, 44, 6666, 777 = 13 cuts.


Pone only needs 10pts to go out so I'll play Defense.


Playing Defense I think 4-4-5-7 will peg better with a pair and a magic eleven.


4S-5-J-J is better for starting value by ¾pt but 4-4-5-7 has more cuts for improvement and has 13 cuts for 8-16pts compared to 17 cuts for 9-12pts with 4S-5-J-J. Also 4-4-5-7 should peg better so I'll throw the J-J.
5003 votes

Joined: February 2008

Thursday 1:16 PM
At 100*-111 playing a Defense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense___Hand_Pegs____Crib_Total____W1 %____W2 %

Defense_______L1 %____L2 %

5-7-J-J is best for expected averages by 1.34pts and is considerably best for Win %s and lowest for Loss %s. So I'll select 4-4 to discard.

After the K cut I'll play Defense to the lead.
MiketheExpert says: I am surprised the W2%'s are calculated to be so high. In my mind, they would have been a lot less. With our opponent as dealer next hand and him at hole 111 on this hand, I would figure him likely to peg only 2 pts (on avg) if he failed to count out the first time. I suppose this means we could also be within peg-out range at same time, but you would think a "well-trained" dealer would likely keep the best hand possible in order to win here (and of course there is always the J cut). I had closer to a 10% chance in my head for W2.
689 votes

Joined: January 2021

Thursday 2:31 PM