May 24, 2023

*** This hand was suggested by luke3141
45-45*  ?
Total votes: 283
4153 votes

Joined: April 2011

Wednesday 3:33 AM
At these positions it has to be all out defense for me. Not sure this will be a popular choice but it’s my choice.
24hrb says: I viewed it very similarly. The alternative was (5 5 6 6) and discsrd (J 9)
mike320 says: I should have considered that. I like the J-6 in the opponents crib.
1694 votes

Joined: August 2019

Wednesday 3:56 AM
Me too Gary.
SallyAnn3 says: Me 3...
5790 votes

Joined: March 2008

Wednesday 4:12 AM
I play greedy and expected a face to be cut. Ugh. Elsewhere on the board or behind by 20+, I would hold 5566 and go for the long bomb.
The flush looks interesting as well, but not at the cost of 56 suited.
Inushtuk1 says: Hi Gougie00. The flush would not cost you 56 suited. But still quite costly.
6435 votes

Joined: April 2008

Wednesday 4:39 AM
Still could be a twelve or more hand after starter cut. Defense is paramount. Lead the six and maneuver around the minefield. dec
SallyAnn3 says: CONGRATS on GOLD last night in ACC, Dan!
1326 votes

Joined: December 2017

Wednesday 4:44 AM
Tricky because of the score. 45-45* is analogous to 98-98* (although ofc the dynamics are more extreme on fourth street), and similarly, with most configurations of cards, requires defense.

But the more defensive discard, 9J, leaves a hand that can easily get murdered in the pegging, perhaps among the worst defensive pegging hands for pone, and also scores six or less on about 1 cut in 3. Even though the score is defensive, our position in the back isn’t strong enough to completely ignore our own scoring, since a 4-point hand would make us vulnerable there, especially with so much of the game to go. 5566 (9J) does give us a shot at a 24 point hand, which would give us hope for a win in the front, but I don’t like to gamble on the cut, or at least would not here.

The most defensive discard would be 6J but this hurts the hand way too much imo. Our surplus in the back of 13 points will not long survive discards like that.

[569J] (56) isn’t even worth considering at this score, because the 56 is so dangerous over the board.

So it came down to 556J (69) or 559J (66). 69 and 66, IIRC, perform pretty similarly to opponent’s crib, and are in some sense worth “just two”, averaging only about two more than most crib tosses. I seriously considered 559J (66) simply because it is a safer pegger – the 556 combo tends to cause problems for pone, as you’re often left leading into a bad 11 in the second series, or get a five trapped, or even if you dodge this by leading a five, you probably give up two. But I think the superiority of 556J (69) in the count, over 559J (66), makes it the way to go.

These hands fail to improve about the same as the 5566, but at least they start with six, not four, and the overall distribution is better. 5566 has a lower mean hand score, and that’s with its averages being pulled up by a few outlier cuts.

So this is a sort of goldilocks – not too offensive, but not too defensive, because our own standing isn’t strong enough to go all-out on defense. The defensive value of tossing 9J is going to be somewhat outweighed by the terrible pegging of 5566, and 5566 is a “boom or bust” hand that could leave us in the lurch, and when it comes down to 556J (69) or 559J (66), the former just seems better overall. It’s still too early in the game, we’re not far enough up, and these cards are not such, as to play extreme defense, especially when the most attractive “defensive” option, 5566, is not really very defensive when you consider the pegging.

So I will continue my trend of always tossing 69. No matter the puzzle, no matter the score, as dealer or pone, I always seem to reason my way into tossing 69.
horus93 says: I will say, at 98-98*, this would be a no brained, 6j. And in eye ads past, would’ve done it the same here. But I’ve seen it happen too much that overly defensive plays on first and second street create nasty double marginal positions on third and fourth. 5569 scores only 4 on over 25% of cuts, and balls are only so useful.
horus93 says: Omg my work phone with its balls for balks…
hecklebush says: 69 is my least feared "good discard" to the dealer - hopefully counting only 2 points but, of course, you can always get bite big time, this happening to me recently with my opponent scoring 14 in the crib!
horus93 says: Yeah, and the thing of it is, 6j can also yield a big crib, although it’s less likely obviously. The crib is such a crapshoot and makes up such a relatively small portion of dealers scoring, I don’t value balks as highly as most. And this is perhaps a mistake, but it’s how I’ve been thinking the last couple of years, especially in early game
JQT says: Your "work phone"? (horus93) Maybe you should call it your NSFW Phone! 😆
1439 votes

Joined: February 2009

Wednesday 5:17 AM
Will try to slow opponent down at this position. Would lead the 6 and look to dump a 5 next if safe.
SallyAnn3 says: Was fun to watch you play live in playoffs! I was suprised to see you as I usually expect to onnly see my eastern friends at GH or Reno. COngrats on such a huge card
mfetchCT425 says: Thanks Sally! Always great to see you. And thanks for helping Jennifer along in her first ever live tourney. We need new faces to grow this game and the ACC, so thanks!!
SallyAnn3 says: My pleasure! It was fun. Both June and I have been working on her for a couple of months. I got her to agree to coming to Raleigh, but she had no idea that I was going to Winston-Salem. Pulled off the suprise lol
1400 votes

Joined: June 2020

Wednesday 5:28 AM
On cribbage forum, Schell has done an aggregation of data from various sources that produces a table of the %s of the frequency, by rank, of the likely cards either dealer or Pone holds ..the three most likely for dealer are a 5,10 and today the 9-J goes
Eolus619 says: for those interested ..the most likely cards that a dealer would NOT have in a four card keep are 7, 8 & 2..7 being the least likely so in either case..the remaining cards are in either in the deck or in the crib
Eolus619 says: one other btw..according to Ras’s list of the top ten most frequent discards by dealer to own crib there is a specific reason why Pone tossing either a 6 or 9 can make the crib value go up the five frequent discards are..6/9…6/7…6/8…8/9…7/9..
2625 votes

Joined: March 2009

Wednesday 6:10 AM
Agree with the defensive posture: dealer is marginal, and we can't get close to 70, unless we go for the low percentage 4 cut with 5566. I am a bit more concerned about the 69 throw, at this juncture I am not sure it is worth the 2 extra points.
412 votes

Joined: March 2014

Wednesday 6:22 AM
Keep the flush for 8 and with the 2♦️turn we get a bonus point.
scottcrib says: If we're playing muggins, then I'll mug you for the point you missed. 😉
3980 votes

Joined: June 2013

Wednesday 6:25 AM
In agreement with only 14% of the vote, but plenty of the commentators.
1180 votes

Joined: April 2021

Wednesday 6:33 AM
Between the choices of (6 J), (6 9) unsuited, and (9 J) for me....Pone is already dealing from position, and I am a far 24 pts from 2nd street. With me having 2 sixes and 2 fives in my hand, the throw of (9 J) has a large negative delta associated with it. My real feeling was to toss (6 J) and keep the 4 points this away, but I'm going to go with the slim majority of the voters and keep my chance at a 24-pt hand cut....There doesn't seem to be an awful lot to lose by going for it, save for the fact I don't have a whole lot of defensive protection in the hand should dealer choose to play on aggressively. 5 or 6 lead here?
MiketheExpert says: *pone = dealer. Of course pone is myself here...Wouldn't be a true post from myself without mixing this up!
MiketheExpert says: With dealer at hole 43 or less, I would change my vote to (6 J), a bit safer crib discard, as well as a slightly safer pegging hand left.
19 votes

Joined: April 2023

Wednesday 7:29 AM
Yuck! The dealer did a real number on this one. Since the game is not on the line in this hand, the score is irrelevant to me. So, which poison to throw?

I know I won’t keep the flush because a 5-6 throw is one of the worst throws in the game.

Do I keep the 5-5-6-6 and give everyone practically nothing except potential? I’m not really fond of throwing the 9-J in the crib because the dealer is so likely to turn it into something and keeping 4 points isn’t a great prospect. On the other hand, 4-5-6-7 and 19 cards 9 and above give me 8 or more points in my hand, which is better than anything I can keep. This would be easier to choose if the X were anything but a J.

The J-5, 5-5 and 6-6 are all out of the question. Even though I have half the 5’s, there’s still too much potential for a disaster for me in the opponents crib.

This leaves the 9-6 which gives me 6 and the opponent 2. There are legitimate arguments for this throw. I have half of the 6’s so the chances dealer has one to throw in the crib is greatly reduced and the worst likely crib I’ll be up against is 12 if dealer throws one of these and I cut one. Chance of 3 6’s & 9’s are slim enough I would risk it. I don’t expect dealer to throw a 6-9 unless they just don’t mesh with any other cards in his hand. This throw gives the same cards as throwing 9-J to get 8 or more with a lower top end. Keeping the 5-5-6-6 gives me the potential for a 24 hand.

As I asked in the beginning, which poison to throw. I guess I’ll pick the 9-J since it is no guarantee of points to the opponent and I net more points in my hand that throwing the 9-6. I’m not fond of the pegging potential, but I’ll start with a 6 and see where the cards fall from there.

When I don’t deal, I discount the so called “magic 11” that so many people mention even though I happened to keep it in this hand. The chance of me being able to use it to get the one more peg for hitting 31 is very slim in most non-dealer hands. When I do deal, I don’t normally let the prospect of a single point in pegging affect my throw that much unless I expect pegging to end the game, like happened a couple of days ago. In throwing you do need to consider everything, but points in crib and hand are usually the most important. I consider this hand very dangerous for me in pegging since there is too big a possibility I’ll be forced to lead a 5 in the second round (after go or 31) but no good throw makes this any better.


The 2 cut actually makes me feel better.
horus93 says: You’re absolutely right about two card 11s for pone. Colvert made a boo-boo in his book in his treatment of them. They are, if anything, a liability. Three card elevens are another story, but as you say not to be overvalued
MiketheExpert says: Hi mike. It is true that the "magic 11" SHOULD be discounted here as pone, as a 2-card total adding up to 11 does not help us. We need at least 3 cards adding to this for it to become relevant, as we are first to lead, and this would come before the dealer would lay down his X-cards on the pegging to make a total of 31. As dealer, only 2 cards would be sufficient, and the 5-6 combo is the strongest of all the "magic-11's". I normally don't go for "what-ifs" as far as the cut is concerned, but here I agree and would play it the same way as you described. Using a cost vs. benefit analysis at this score, why not keep the slim chance of an automatic trip to 3rd street on the cut, without a sacrifice in hand potential, and only a slight amount of increased danger in the crib and pegging...Dealer is already in minimal position, so I would still call this a defensive mindset, certainly wouldn't want to throw anything such as a (5 6) in order to keep the flush, and although (6 9) is not too worrisome as far as "point" discards are concerned to our opponent with the surrounding negative delta, is does not add a lot of net potential with our remaining hand.
mike320 says: The only thing I knew about magic 11 before your post is that people mentioned it. I kept an 11 and wanted to be clear "magic 11" had no bearing on my decision. I now understand the 2 card and 3 card 11's purpose and do occasionally consider these in my throw decision.
285 votes

Joined: August 2016

Wednesday 7:47 AM
Props to luke3141 for coming up with this challenging hand and the votes back it up.
4143 votes

Joined: October 2008

Wednesday 8:18 AM
It's an interesting, "Fit-to-be-Tied," Mid-Second-Street, Enigmatic and Enthralling Cribbage Brawl Puzzle by luke3141 today, and if that's his birthday, then either he hasn't been born yet, or there's some variant or perhaps little-known amalgam of either the Chinese or Jewish Calendar of which I remain entirely ignorant, unfamiliar, and unawares. Each of us knows so very little about this world!

I'm no religious scholar, but if I recall properly, even Biblically, although it goes on longer than any of the other books of the New Testament, I do believe that Luke does run out of things to say after only about twenty-four chapters, so what is this "3141" business, if it's not Chapter and Verse? It remains utterly a mystery. Maybe let's just enjoy not knowing what it means. And onward to the Cribbage Itself!

We could Toss (6 9) or Toss (9 J), although we would really like to maintain our Average Score and navigate about Ten Holes by completion of this deal. There's also a very interesting FLUSH hidden in there, but we can only retain this after Toss (5 6), and we should like to avoid 'starting a fire' in the Enemy Crib.

Interestingly enough, many of the more dangerous Pone Discards that contain a 5 Card but do NOT begin with actual points, discards such as Toss (4 5), Toss (5 6), and Toss (5 7), while very dangerous, tend to average about 7.5 Points. This is only about One Point greater than Toss (6 9)!

If the score were (97-117*), we could even entertain Keep (5 5 6 6) and Toss (9 J), which illustrates the "reach" of this card arrangement today, with Twenty-Four Points being a 4 DIV 46 equals 0.087 or nearly a 9% possibility! But when tied on Second Street at Hole 45, we should not be entertaining a 9% Hunting Expedition.

We do know that any discard with a 5 Card in it WILL indeed always generate at least Two Points, but that's not too much different than what we can boast about Toss (6 9), the seemingly safer but weaker alternative. And since we'd really like to remain "on target" and get those Ten Points today, I believe that the FLUSH is a very viable choice here!

We shall reach those Ten Points after any Cut Card except a Deuce, Trey, or 8 Card, and yet even these will do the job if they are Diamond-Suited! Thus, only Nine Cuts (222, 333, 888) with Zero Pegging will cause us to 'miss our mark' today. When you come to a fork in the road, take it! When the Cribbage Fairy gives you a Discard Option to hold the cards that will allow you to attain your "target," Take It!

Let's Keep (5d 6d 9d Jd) and Toss (5c 6s) and look for the near-certainty of reaching our goal.

After the (see how many of these often-oblique references you can understand): Big-Busted, DuPont, Due Diligence, Double-D-Battery, Deuce of Diamonds Cut, we now have Ten Points in our Hand. Let's lead the Jack, and peg tentatively.

My Wordle Streak of about 11 months continues, with nearly 25% of those puzzles solved in Three (or fewer) Guesses.

Wordle 704 3/6 (I won't whisper a word)

JQT says: Well, so much for being well-rested and sleeping in late. I made the common mistake of analyzing the Relative Score as though we were tied at Hole 35, and needing Ten Points to reach our target for the Next Deal at Hole 45, the location we are already at today. Still, I'm not so sure this is a bad choice after all, since it does keep us moving, and it has just a bit more added risk, as I outlined in my hopefully otherwise-fairly-coherent posting. "There is no victory in sleep's defeat" (I am quoting myself here, as I wrote that before I was a teenager, and my English Teacher was very pleased).
MiketheExpert says: I was wondering about the 10 point target you mentioned, scratching my head a bit....But I don't think toss (5 6) is too far off from choosing to toss (6 9)...You do start off with 8 points, have a lot of cuts for 10+, and you maintain what I call the "off-target" pace ---- If you are unable to reach hole 70 as an example as dealer, it still gives you a better chance to reach this hole as PONE, and this could end up shaving a whole deal off our chances to win towards the endgame.
JQT says: I believe "off-target" pace is a pretty good term for a much-needed concept or phenomenon. If I had simply inserted this into my original posting, I think it becomes almost self-explanatory. In addition, we could also say that since the Dealer has already reached this desired target, it might justify the Offensive Choice of retaining the FLUSH, but does not quite justify the Hail-Mary approach of Toss (9 J).
877 votes

Joined: April 2021

Wednesday 9:05 AM
The flush give you the most starting points but, puts a dangerous duo in the crib. Since we have another 5 and 6 in hand maybe it is not as dangerous as it appears. Any other keep lowers our starting points with the 9-J causing a decline by 4. Now we have 10 points and maybe there is only 2 or a few in the crib.
MiketheExpert says: The redeeming factor of the (5 6) discard is what I mentioned in JQT's post, as well as the fact that a cut which will help our opponent out (such as a 4 or 7), will also add to our hand holding. It isn't my style at this score, whereas I typically lean towards defense given multiple possibilities, or positions that are borderline in nature with a lot of game left...However I do see the justification for this side of the coin also.
1544 votes

Joined: July 2016

Wednesday 9:09 AM
I'm sure my (9-J) suited is safer than (6-9) unsuited, or (5-6) unsuited, and almost as safe as (6-J) unsuited; with a possible 24 point hand. Well that didn't work out. Lead the 6d.
5646 votes

Joined: October 2007

Wednesday 4:42 PM
I think it's between 5D-6D-9-J (5C-6S), 5-5-6-6 (9-J), 5-5-6D-J (6S-9) and 5-5-6D-9 (6S-J):

5D-6D-9-J: 8pts - 7½pts (Schell: 7.47) = +½pt

5-5-6-6: 4pts - 5pts (Schell: 4.96) = -1pt

5-5-6D-J: 6pts - 6¼pts (Schell: 6.26) = -¼pt

5-5-6D-9: 4pts - 4½pts (Schell: 4.57) = -½pt


5D-6D-9-J: Improves with AAAA, 4444, 55, 66, 7777, 999 + 15xXs = 34 cuts = 34/46 = 73.9% up to 11/12/13pts with 4444, 55, 66, 7777, 999, 10101010, JJJ = 22 cuts. Plus 9 diamond cuts for 1pt extra for the flush and 1pt extra for his nob = 2x9/46 = 0.39pt.

5-5-6-6: Improves with 3333, 4444, 55, 66, 7777, 9999 + 15xXs = 35 cuts = 35/46 = 76.1% up to 8/10/16/24pts with 4444, 55, 66, 7777, 9999 + 15xXs = 31 cuts.

5-5-6D-J: Improves with 4444, 55, 66, 7777, 9999 + 15xXs = 31/46 = 67.4% up to 10/12/14/16pts with 4444, 55, 7777 + 15xXs = 25 cuts. Plus 9 diamond cuts for 1pt extra for his nob = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

5-5-6D-9: Improves with AAAA, 4444, 55, 66, 7777, 999 + 15xXs = 34 cuts = 34/46 = 73.9% up to 8/10/14pts with all cuts.


We're 15pts short of where we would like to be but if we keep Dealer short we're past 2nd street positional hole so I'll play ultra-defense.


Playing Defense I think 5-5-6-6 will peg best.


5D-6D-9-J is best for starting value and has an extra 0.39pt. for nob/flush potential. However 5-5-6-6 has more cuts for improvement and 31 cuts for 8-24pts. Holding two 5s and two 6s the 9-J throw will also have significant negative delta. So I'll throw the 9-J.
5371 votes

Joined: February 2008

Wednesday 4:45 PM
At 45-45* playing a SAFE strategy the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense____Hand__Pegs____Crib____Total___W5 %____W6 %

Defense_______L5 %____L6 %

5D-6D-9-J is best for expected averages by 0.48pt. over 5-5-6-6 and is also slightly best for Win %s. However I'm recommending a SAFE strategy and 5-5-6D-9 is lowest for Loss %s but 5-5-6-6 is next lowest and is also appreciably better for Win %s and expected averages. So in this critical board position playing a Safe strategy I'll select the 9-J to discard.

After the 2 cut I'll lead the 6D and play Defense:

Lead___________Dealer's Pegging Points
3073 votes

Joined: November 2014

Wednesday 8:13 PM
Tempted by the flush... but decided board position had me keep the 5-5-6-6 together. Briefly pondered the 5-5-6-J but decided against it.
5215 votes

Joined: November 2008

Wednesday 8:47 PM
Would only hold this hand in this manner as non-dealer. Agree with the cribbot that it is the best choice available. The 9-K or 9-Q would be much preferred to the 9-J. At hole 45, points are not important to me- Slowing dealer movement down the board is the best possible avenue. Otherwise, HalscribCLX saays it all this day.