March 18, 2023

*** This hand was suggested by Inushtuk1
0*-0  ?
Total votes: 250
Inushtuk1Actual hand. I decided to toss (6-K), which is what my opponent would have done, balking my crib if s/he had the same hand. Was sorely tempted to toss (5-K), and put something good in my crib ,and keep a gut shot for a double run. The cut was a 4.
3772 votes

Joined: October 2008

Saturday 3:03 AM
Puzzle Composer Inushtuk1 tells us this comes from an actual hand, in an actual game. It is also revealed that Toss (6 K) was his choice.

He wishes to know whether Toss (5 K) makes any sense, since doing so might seek a Double Run via the nearly 9% odds of obtaining an Inside Straight Draw.

Two things would definitely motivate me to Toss (5 K) here: if I knew that either an Ace or a 7 Card were going to be the Cut Card, or; if our Deuce was actually an Ace or a 7 Card! But let's get serious.

Frankly, Toss (5 K) is not THAT much different in the aggregate than Toss (6 K). Toss (5 K) ends up mostly "trading" those points "lost" in the Hand for those generated or "found" in the Crib. And in the process, what little difference remains can perhaps be GAINED via the pegging.

Many (or even most) places on the board, I might instinctively simply choose Toss (6 K), and think little of it. However, when starting the game, it's often stressed to adopt a DEFENSIVE posture.

Pegging defensively is probably easier without the 5 Card, because if it doesn't get PAIRED, then Pone often later tries to "trap" it. Sometimes, it's best if Mr. 5 Card is a "no show."

Let's perform the speculative Toss (5 K) today and see how things transpire.

After the Trey Cut, we now have Two Points in our Hand, with prospects for a good Crib. The Puzzle Poster says a 4 Card was Cut in the actual game. Did anybody even consider Toss (8 8)? Or Toss (5 6)?

Wordle 637 4/6 (visitors to one saw a waterfall)

Andy (muesli64) says: Wordle 637 2/6 ⬜⬜🟨⬜🟨 🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩
JQT says: We're gonna need a bigger boat! Wow, two guesses, and your first guess gave you just two letters, as did mine. That's very good! I'd say you're all dialed in, Andy! 🥂 🚤 🌟
3536 votes

Joined: June 2013

Saturday 3:07 AM
I doubt that 6-8 is two points better than 6-K in my crib, but I offer it up for analysis and comment.
Eolus619 says: James500..GFD..needs only to earn eight points to maintain his/her to me . starting with max points ..six..and crossing fingers for a two point crib + pegging three is the way to go today..The cut card always tells the tale though.
Ras2829 says: HI james500: My empirical data shows 6-K average at 3.209 (369) and 6-8 average at 4.631 (2,156). Of course, the same discards are worth much more on the other side of the board. Number in parentheses represents number of times discarded in live play and results recorded.
james500 says: Hi both, hope you're having pleasant weekends. Thanks for the feedback. As of 6pm UK time, only 1% of voters have chosen 258K (6-8), which further suggests that there were better options. It did seem interesting to me this morning, but my curiosity has been sated.
5954 votes

Joined: April 2008

Saturday 3:44 AM
I have had my fair share of thinking outside of the box. However for me seeing we have the first deal. will try for a dozen here and try to stifle opponent from any excessive pegging. Play hand of strength as first here. dec
919 votes

Joined: December 2017

Saturday 4:09 AM
My gut went right for tossing 6K per the small hand rule, which generally steers you right. Looking at it more carefully, 2688 definitely rose in my estimation, but I still prefer 2588. These cards are bad enough that I’ll likely have to play some offense, so I’d rather keep the five in hand for an easy 15. Pretty sure for pure hand+crib they’ll be close, and 2688 (5k) might even be on top, but not enough to outweigh the offensive value of a five in hand.

Checking discardpro, they are indeed neck and neck for pure hand+crib, with 2588 (6k) averaging 11, and 2688 (5k) averaging 10.9.

After the awful cut, would switch to outright aggressive play to try to salvage my starting surplus. On an ace lead, I’d play the five, since with a 5 and 2 in hand, I could get a two-on-none with my eights. Pair a deuce of course, and play the five on a three to entice a run.

Enticing plays like this is shaky in real life, because your opponent can sometimes see right through them based on your demeanor. But if you ham it up too much, they’ll just ignore your reactions in general, I’d guess. Still I’d probably do a slight bit of hemming and hawing before playing the five on the three, as if I was trying to weigh the “least bad” option, rather than fishing for a run. Similarly, I’d play the two to a four lead. And these run-enticing plays conserve the possible 88 two-on-none, ofc, even if they don’t score immediately. Pair a five.

To a six, the position isn’t quite offensive enough to justify risking a 15-5 for nothing by playing the five hoping for a seven, so I’d probably just play the deuce. The replies to seven and eight leads are obvious, to a nine would play the deuce, since with a higher ranked lead like that my hope for a two-on-none starts to dwindle, so I’m more inclined to preserve, not my 8s, but my 5, in case I can get a tenth card lead on the second play series. And on a X, play the five of course.
horus93 says: As for the question of defense vs offense on opening hand, not to be a broken record, but I don't think you can play defense with only 6 points in hand and 6K in the crib. Your starting lead just isn't big enough for that imo. Being non-dealer next hand at 8 or 9 is more likely to lose you the game than letting pone knock a couple points off his deficit to move further down the board yourself.
Eolus619 says: Morning H…I have kiddingly posted about Jazz saying ———- being the best answer until it isn’t. Colvert’s advice about games approach is GFD playing D & GF N/D playing O from hand one is based on recording 100s of thousands of played hands/games and the “26” theory. But , to me, this all depends on the three decision points Ras has posted frequently..what do the pegs tell you, what does the hand tell you , what adjustments, if any, do you make after the cut. So you deciding to play O as dealer from games first hand seems to fit based on his guidance. GFD..hand + crib + hand..ENOUGH POINTS be dealing first from 18+ is the goal Nice analysis this AM.
horus93 says: For sure man, shorthand and cpz and whatnot is one thing, but then you have to start modifying those systems "on the fly" by figuring how your hand+crib+pegging stands up the averages that shorthand methods are based on - still very much a work in progress for me. I wanna defend my idea of pairing a five, too, because that might seem a little unhinged and overly offensive, but ime few and far between are the players who will lead a 5 from 55??. Usually if someone leads a five they hold 5xxx, so you can often get away with the pair. It also has a sort of psychological effect, I think. If he gets 15-8, he'll think you're dumb, and if you get away with it, he'll still think you're a bit crazy or have a basically wild play style. He probably doesn't think you're much of a positional player, since positional players normally play defense as starting dealer. That kind of misinformation is useful, because positional play can be predictable, and pairing a 5 will throw the other person's calculus off, and maybe elicit some misplays down the way.
3715 votes

Joined: April 2011

Saturday 4:29 AM
I’ll sacrifice a couple points to get 5-K in the crib. Just can’t bring myself to toss 6-K.
5331 votes

Joined: March 2008

Saturday 4:38 AM
Yuck. I decided to keep my 6 meager points. No help. Ugh...
Andy (muesli64)
2165 votes

Joined: August 2009

Saturday 4:51 AM
It's very often that the 2, 5, 8 combo becomes 12 points with a favourable cut. I'm taking what is there now anyway.
Eolus619 says: Andy..your insight today is a very good example of the benefit of CHOD…Thx for posting this cribbage “nugget”
JQT says: Of course, the main definition of a "Cribbage Nugget" is that's it's the term for a child prodigy who plays Cribbage while still not yet able to walk. Usage: "That 'Cribbage Nugget' won the tournament again, but sure needs a diaper change." 🧷 🧴
1242 votes

Joined: August 2019

Saturday 5:33 AM
Not sure I would do this in a real game, but what about this option? Only cut that misses is an A and I believe this is the best pegging option of the bunch. What say you?
Eolus619 says: pose a very interesting question. I think most players try to configure a hand to take advantage of potential cuts. The bulk of Coe’s posts center around this aspect. Another perspective comes from Ras on the subject of cuts “Play the game without a favorable starter card. You're likely to miss more cuts than you receive and don't believe you can improve your cutting ability. Most strong tournament players plan their hand, strategy, etc. without the benefit of the starter card. If the starter card is favorable, that is an unplanned bonus.”
731 votes

Joined: April 2021

Saturday 7:29 AM
I know I am breaking a "general" rule by doing this, however the difference between toss (6 K) and (5 K) is so great, and there are so many additional cuts that improve (2 6 8 8) compared to (2 5 8 8) in hand, while at the same time enabling the strength of the 5 in crib to MULTILPLY as compared to remain stagnant in the hand, that I believe in THIS case, it is WORTH a 4-pt starting hand sacrifice! Note I would not break up (2 5 8 8) in order to throw the pair of 8's and keep a 2-pt (2 5 6 K). Almost predictably, the 3 cut is NOT one of those which I feel good about, leaving us only with a 2-pt hand, but we should still have a fair opportunity to score multiple pegging points as dealer, and feel pretty good about our crib chances.
MiketheExpert says: By the way, when I talk about cuts "improving" the hand, in mind I am eliminating all the face cards even though all of these add 2 pts to (2 5 8 8), while not improving the hand of (2 6 8 8), since I expect it to help the crib much MORE than this if I cut a face card with the (5 K) in there.
MiketheExpert says: As JQT mentioned, although on aggregate there is not much difference between the expected hand plus crib average in discarding between the (5 K) and (6 K), for strategic purposes I am also not keen on having the lone 5 in hand as first dealer. I would not be altogether happy having to play this for 15-2 upon a face card lead by pone -- and from this vantage point, I'll go for the higher "reach" of an expected crib which is higher, as well as potential cuts which could aid the hand higher than 2 pts...I might miss out if I get a "same" cut card (2 or 8) as what I'm holding in my hand, but that is the risk I'm willing to take.
387 votes

Joined: December 2021

Saturday 7:30 AM
I think that I learned it from Ras that 6,K are the most common cards pone throws into crib. I might get lucky.
Eolus619 says: Morning Red..per Ras evidence..K is the most frequent Pone discarded card...then Ace..six appears only once..9th most frequent.. 6-K
RedTailRogue says: That surprises me that Ace is second most discarded for a couple of reasons. 1)it's so valuable in pegging. 2)it can combine with other cards to otal 5
2654 votes

Joined: November 2014

Saturday 8:01 AM
Keep a reasonable hand, leftovers go in crib.
492 votes

Joined: April 2021

Saturday 9:11 AM
Simply kept the most points.
545 votes

Joined: February 2021

Saturday 10:24 AM
Here's a coincidence:

I got a 7 cut.
Inushtuk1 says: And how did your Crib turn out?
dph says: I wish you hadn't asked that question -- pone threw a 7 (and the pair of 7s was all that was in there).
5228 votes

Joined: October 2007

Saturday 11:49 AM
Three likely choices here, I think - 2-5-8-8 (6-K), 2-6-8-8 (5-K) and 2-5-6-K (8-8) but perhaps 2-5-8-K (6-8) is worth considering as well:

2-5-8-8: 6pts + 3¼pts (Schell: 3.13) = 9¼pts

2-6-8-8: 2pts + 6½pts (Schell: 6.66) = 8½pts

2-5-6-K: 2pts + 5¾pts (Schell: 5.45) = 7¾pts

2-5-8-K: 4pts + 4½pts (Schell: 4.63) = 8½pts


2-5-8-8: Improves with 222, 555, 7777, 88 + 15xXs = 27 cuts = 27/46 = 58.7% up to 10/12pts with 222, 555, 7777, 88 = 12 cuts.

2-6-8-8: Improves with AAAA, 222, 555, 666, 7777, 88, 9999 = 23 cuts = 23/46 = 50.0% up to 6/14pts with AAAA, 555, 7777, 88 = 13 cuts.

2-5-6-K: Improves with 222, 3333, 4444, 555, 666, 7777, 88, 9999 + 15xXs = 42 cuts = 42/46 = 91.3% up to 6/7pts with 222, 4444, 555, 7777, KKK = 17 cuts.

2-5-8-K: Improves with 222, 3333, 555, 7777, 88 + 15xXs = 31 cuts = 31/46 = 67.4% up to 8/10pts with 222, 555, 88, KKK = 11 cuts.


As First Dealer positional hole is at 8pts so I'll play Defense but try to score the average 16pts or more.


Playing Defense I think all these hands will peg well but with a good spread perhaps 2-5-8-K best.


2-5-8-8 has the best starting value by ¾pt over 2-6-8-8 and 2-5-8-K. 2-5-6-K has the most cuts for improvement but 2-5-8-8 has 12 cuts for 10/12pts so I'll throw the rather unhelpful 6-K to my box.
4947 votes

Joined: February 2008

Saturday 11:50 AM
At 0*-0 playing a Defense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense___Hand_Pegs____Crib_Total___W9 %____W10 %

Defense______L9 %____L10 %

2-6-8-8 is best for expected averages by the very slim margin of 0.03pt. while 2-5-8-8 is slightly best for Win %s and lowest for Loss %s. So although it's the beginning of the game and would usually decide on expected averages because the difference is so small I'll decide based on the Win/Loss %s and select the 6-K to discard.

After the 3 cut I'll play Defense to the lead.
1078 votes

Joined: July 2016

Saturday 12:03 PM
Thanks for all the comments. We are often dealt hands where we say, "If only I was the Dealer." And sometimes we deal ourselves a hand like this, where we wish were were Pone.
bbaer1 says: You know Mike, as first-hand dealer you’ve got to get your seven points to maintain your advantage. Six in-hand and the dealer’s automatic one gets you there.