September 15, 2023

*** This hand was suggested by CTB in VT
0*-0  ?
Total votes: 256
1265 votes

Joined: February 2009

Friday 3:12 AM
Never going to willingly throw 10-K to my own crib-this hold enables bingo cuts of an A or 4 and any picture will help both as well
3959 votes

Joined: October 2008

Friday 3:18 AM
This puzzle is probably one of the very first Discard Decisions that is examined whenever any player begins to take that leap 😱 from "Kitchen Table Cribbage Connoisseur" to "Weekend Traveling Tournament Warrior"! Therefore, it's always a nice refresher to see this arrangement 'pop up' once in a while for the newer players.

What's unique about this particular puzzle, however, is that we're sitting as First Dealer, and in this well-known, frequently-studied position, with our approximate 12% increased odds of winning, we are generally taught by time-honored players such as DeLynn Colvert, et al., to adopt a Defensive Posture.

If the two Ten (or "X") Cards form a PAIR (and even if NOT, according to some), however, there are some Uber-Peggers who will instead choose to Keep (A 2 3 4) and Toss (X X), but that's not an effective option today. And beware, as Toss (T K) 'chimes in' at less than Three Points in our Crib, and therefore is Dealer Discard 🧲 "Crypbtonite"!

On an open board in a purely equal Relative Position, most players are coached to Keep (A 4 X X) and Toss (2 3), in order to derive the most "oomph" from such cards. This ploy is sometimes referred to as the "Michaelis," (*) and is named for Player Extraordinaire, Mick Michaelis. And frankly, this choice works out best in nearly all situations.

Toss (2 3) tends to average nearly Seven Points in our Crib (Rasmussen even ranks it a 'skosh' higher!), and as far as growth potential, according to (**) Cribbage Pro, it's the best Dealer Discard in the entire game! And that's why I'm inclined to do it here.

Let's Toss (2 3), sing a little ditty, and put some Touching Card Goodness in our Crib. "You'll see; TTT! 🎶 You can't go wrong with Toss-Two-Three!"

After the lackluster 8 Card Cut, we now still have just Four Points in our Hand, with prospects for an average Crib.

(*) REF: Cribbage Glossary by Michael Schell --

(**) REF: "Removing the intrinsic points changes everything. 5-5 is no longer the top of the heap. 2-3 beats it by almost half a point. And K-10 is no longer at the bottom, since it does better than pairs of 10s, Jacks, Queens or Kings!" --
JQT says: I remember in the very early 'daze' of eCribbage in 2008, after just meeting Damien Blond (online), the author, and finally introducing him to Hal Mueller of Halscrib fame, and they worked together on the Random Number Generator. Anyway, one night while I was "Running HOT with the Golden Pegs" and I was also dead tired from playing all day, and Hal logs in and wants to "farm" me for some rating points, and he blasted me thoroughly. I forget the exact match score, but at one point I was so exhausted, I had (A 2 3 4 Q Q), and I did Toss (2 3) just like you're supposed to do, but it was NOT my DEAL! I also played someone who called himself "twotsar" who plowed through me in 13 out of 17 games, in what I can confirm was the most surefire shellacking I've ever had in my Cribbage Lifetime, and Hal suggested that it was very likely Robert Medeiros, who I believe was in Massachusetts, and if I am correct in my current search effort, "Rob" was born on Christmas Day 1929, and sadly he has just died on June 12, 2023, three months ago. Anyway, Hal did some research, and I got an email address, and I wrote to Rob, thanking him for "trashing" me (I really enjoyed those games immensely, but sadly, I did not have them archived, because these sites STILL don't save games!). I kidded him on his "typo" as no doubt he meant to type "TwoStar" since he was a Two Star ACC Player, and I joked that I've never been beaten so badly, and I lost to the Tsar (Czar) of Cribbage! He loved this 'play on words' and I still have our emails! REF: Anyway, if this arrangement interests anyone further, you might wish to 'scroll back' almost that far, about eleven years, and look at "Hand of the Day" for February 18, 2012. REF:
Coeurdelion says: I had email correspondence with Hal Mueller regarding the concept of "intrinsic values" and his view was that it was misguided. I take the view that the sum Hand points + Pegging points + Crib points = Total points is an equation and throwing 5-5 reduces the hand and increases the crib by more than 2-3. It is the sum total that is the determining factor for a discard regardless of any "intrinsic value" of the discard.
JQT says: Yes, we've discussed this issue, and I'm not sure if it's semantics or something more real. My own view is that, since the 5-5 (as long as these are not separated) contains Two Points for the PAIR itself (and we might say "intrinsically") in either our Hand or Crib, and what Cribbage Pro is maybe alluding to is akin to what an investor or tax advisor would call "Marginal Growth." I have stated as much about 3-4, 6-7, J-Q, which all start with "nothing" (thus, these do NOT climb in value on the Cribbage Pro chart) but often reach or exceed Five Points, or equal or beat most high PAIRS in our Crib.
JQT says: Maybe what's really "intrinsic" is the location, and not the cards per se, and let's look at a hasty example I will concoct (better ones certainly exist), as in: (2 3 5 5 8 K), where as Dealer we could Toss (3 K), (5 5), (5 8), (5 K), or (2 3). We quickly may narrow it down to (5 5) or (2 3), and while the equations made by the summation of either (2 3 8 K) and (5 5) as opposed to (5 5 8 K) and (2 3) are very dynamic, I think the (2 3) discard yields the best overall sum in part due to the LOCATION of the (2 3). Back to my theory, that the "Marginal Growth" of this (2 3) Dealer Discard, due to the fact that we have these Touching Cards in our Crib, it achieves the best incremental or marginal growth. Now, the Crib with (5 5) is definitely higher, but it is NOT higher by Two Points, and those Two Points for the PAIR are going to appear on our ledger somewhere, whether those 5 Cards land in our Hand or Crib. Anyway, this is my basic understanding, and I think it is what the Cribbage Pro chart must be getting at.
JQT says: NOTE: I believe the Robert Medeiros who was born 1929 (above) is NOT the Life Master (Now Three Star) Cribbage Player, although both names have identical spelling and live in Massachusetts, which means I might still one day get to play a follow-up match from our 2008 encounter!
3720 votes

Joined: June 2013

Friday 4:34 AM
I would have chosen A-10 before I discovered this site.
5519 votes

Joined: March 2008

Friday 4:37 AM
Unless there is a flush to consider, this is pretty standard fare for mpst players.
1095 votes

Joined: December 2017

Friday 4:39 AM
23 or quit playing cribbage
horus93 says: I'd peg in a balanced way to the cut. Would not pair pone's lead, would pair pone's second card played if possible. 23 is a great toss but with an 8 on the deck it's probably not a kaboom, even so the starting dynamics are sufficiently unbalanced that all-out offense isn't the way with these cards. But with only four points in hand, picking up some pegs is definitely on the agenda.
6142 votes

Joined: April 2008

Friday 5:15 AM
This is the standard for most players. I just find online the crib usually does not get a sizable gain. The pegging usually performs its function here. dec
1302 votes

Joined: February 2009

Friday 5:39 AM
If you can get 2-3 into your crib without dismantling your hand, it’s a good thing.
918 votes

Joined: April 2021

Friday 5:50 AM
You know me when it comes to 2-3.
1141 votes

Joined: June 2020

Friday 5:57 AM
Hand+ crib ..start with six…sending 2-3 is a much better way than A-4
Eolus619 says: For those who have chosen the discard card tables
114 votes

Joined: February 2022

Friday 6:14 AM
I went with toss AK, which I've heard referred to as "the kiss of death" but it's better than TK. I end up with a 7 point hand, disappointing for sure but these types of hands are a reality in any cribbage game.
Eolus619 says: Morning hecklebush..suggest you review Ras’s small hand rule
Eolus619 says:
wasa says: Hi hecklebush. It's our crib, so I think you want to put in good cards. If it was the opponent's crib, I'd be tossing the T-K.
hecklebush says: Well, OK. I bookmarked RAS's tips.
2830 votes

Joined: November 2014

Friday 6:55 AM
2-3 to my crib. Unlike horus93, I could come up with a few scenarios were I would not toss 2-3. Like 119-119 and we're dealer. Or other end game pegging situations. Definitely tempted to toss the T-K and keep the A-2-3-4 to try to peg out.
horus93 says: When did I say there were no scenarios in which it should be tossed differently?
wasa says: Sorry if I misunderstood, but you state "23 or quit playing cribbage". Assuming you are not quitting cribbage.... 2-3 is not always the answer.
658 votes

Joined: April 2021

Friday 8:35 AM
Sometimes the Cribbage God takes pity on us and bails us out with a great cut when we forget it is our crib.
Eolus619 says: as JQT would say..cribbage is not a self correcting game ..
332 votes

Joined: December 2020

Friday 10:30 AM
2-3 to the crib with a faint hope the pone balks my crib with two 10x cards.
5418 votes

Joined: October 2007

Friday 11:11 AM
The Michaelis A-2-3-4 where discarding 2-3 to your crib from A-2-3-4-X-X in order to maximize your expected average is best. It is named after Mick Michaelis. Ras and others have shown that if the X-X is J-Q and perhaps 10-J then it's better to throw the touching Xs (not Q-K) especially if playing Offense where A-2-3-4 will peg well. To show the analysis:

A-2-3-4: 4pts + 3pts (Schell: 2.84) = 7pts

2-3-10-K: 4pts + 5¼pts (Schell: 5.43) = 9¼pts

A-2-3-X: 5pts + 3½pts (Schell: 3.6 ) = 8½pts

2-3-4-X: 5pts + 3½pts (Schell: 3.4 ) = 8½pts

A-4-10-K: 4pts + 6¾pts (Schell: 7.00) = 10¾pts


A-2-3-4: Improves with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 6666, 7777, 8888, 9999 + 14xXs = 46 cuts = 46/46 = 100.0% up to 7/8/10pts with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 8888, 9999 + 14xXs = 38 cuts.

2-3-10-K: Improves with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555 + 14xXs = 30 cuts = 30/46 = 65.2% up to 7/8/10pts with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 101010, KKK = 22 cuts.

A-2-3-X: Improves with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 9999 + 14xXs = 34 cuts = 34/46 = 73.9% up to 8/9/12pts with AAA, 222, 333, 444, XXX = 15 cuts.

2-3-4-X: Improves with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 6666, 8888, 9999 + 14xXs = 42 cuts = 42/46 = 91.3% up to 8/9/10/12pts with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, XXX = 19 cuts.

A-4-10-K: Improves with AAA, 444, 5555 + 14xXs = 24 cuts = 24/46 = 52.2% up to 8/10pts with AAA, 444, 5555, 101010, KKK = 16 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 A-4-10-K will peg better with a well spread two low cards and two high cards.


A-4-10-K has a starting value 1½pts more than 2-3-10-K so even with the guaranteed improvement of A-2-3-4 and 38 cuts for 7-10pts and good improvement of 2-3-4-X with 19 cuts for 8-12pts I don't think they can catch this amount up. So I'll throw the 2-3.
5129 votes

Joined: February 2008

Friday 11:12 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 %
2-3-10-K____6.39+(-2.15)+5.24= 9.48____33.7____47.7
A-2-3-K_____7.78+(-1.93)+3.38= 9.23____35.0____47.7
A-2-3-10____7.78+(-1.98)+3.40= 9.20____34.9____47.5
2-3-4-K_____7.96+(-2.15)+3.23= 9.04____34.6____47.2
2-3-4-10____7.96+(-2.20)+3.20= 8.96____34.3____47.0
A-2-3-4_____8.09+(-2.20)+2.79= 8.68____34.6____47.2

Defense________L9 %____L10 %

A-4-10-K is best for expected averages by 1.00pt. over 2-3-10-K and is appreciably best for Win %s and slightly lowest for Loss %s. So I'll select the 2-3 to discard.

After the 8 cut I'll play a Defense strategy to the lead.
4953 votes

Joined: November 2008

Friday 12:46 PM
As dealer of first-hand, committed to defense, the 2-3 discard is the way to go. In other places on the board, if choosing offense, this hand is sensitive to the X-pointers. If the discards were J-Q or 10-J, choosing an offense strategy, holding the longer run of A-2-3-4 gets the nod in combined value. The J-K discard would be a push. If discards are 10-K 2.836, 10-Q 3.166, or Q-K 3.483, discard 2-3 whether playing defense or offense. Always be watchful for those weak X-point discards as 2/3/4 with any one of those has a higher value than the two X-pointers. Often, you'll be able to do the latter if aware.
5129 votes

Joined: February 2008

Friday 1:15 PM
This hand with a J-Q and playing an Offense strategy the dynamic expected averages would be:


So in a position where Offense is the strategy I'll select J-Q to discard.

If 10-J:


If Q-K: