November 21, 2023

*** This hand was suggested by scottcrib
96*-84  ?
Total votes: 278
scottcribCribbagePro hand.
4005 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 3:18 AM
Thought about A477 (2-5) in order to keep the A4 combo together, but 4-5 is a pretty strong discard.
1492 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 4:14 AM
If we get an A,3,5,6 or 7 cut we should be in very very strong position to win the game
5816 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 4:50 AM
Nothing from this menu I like. I'll toss 45 in the crib and pray for help.
1478 votes

Joined: August 2018

Tuesday 5:37 AM
Going to be traveling, so not voting again until Monday. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving.

Maybe this toss will hit in the crib.
419 votes

Joined: November 2016

Tuesday 5:41 AM
Let’s get some help from the crib. 🤞🏻🤞🏻🤞🏻
1450 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 5:42 AM
4-5 is a top 10 offensive toss to own crib. Lots of favorable cuts help both hand and crib as Rob lays out above. 4 is not one of them but maybe pone tossed a stray 6 to our crib. I would peg aggressively here to get as close as we can for next deal.
6463 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 5:53 AM
Once again trying to utilize the three facets of the game. Pegging is the primary concern after the starter cut. dec
4178 votes

Joined: April 2011

Tuesday 5:56 AM
Looks like a 100%
490 votes

Joined: December 2020

Tuesday 6:02 AM
Tossed the 4-5 to the crib. I ended up firmly in the herd so my thought process was similar to many.
222 votes

Joined: February 2022

Tuesday 6:26 AM
I chose the crowd pleasing discard of 4-5 to my crib. Pegging was unremarkable, as were the hands. However, I scored a 16 point crib with 4-4-5-6-7 which put the next deal at (119-99*)! I pegged out at the end of the play with a 3 card run. Now, it looks like yesterday's discussion under my ID devolved into the optimal game length for cribbage, given that 121 favors the first dealer. If you change the rules to "bring equity" into the game in that respect, then you're sorta side-stepping the luck factor. It is the fickle nature of luck that adds a great deal of interest to cribbage and card games in general. Nonetheless, that was a very interesting discussion and I'll have to go back and study it, and I thank you all for participating.
hecklebush says: I forgot to indicate the reference to CribPro in my original comments regarding the playout.
2646 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 6:42 AM
Need a crib and maximum pegging.
3093 votes

Joined: November 2014

Tuesday 6:44 AM
As others said - the 4-5 is a top 10 discard to my own crib. Always looking for ways to put a "5" into my own crib - what's not to like today? The cut? Fingers crossed it helps my crib (as hecklebush says, maybe my opponent tossed me a 6)
1424 votes

Joined: June 2020

Tuesday 6:46 AM
Read Jazz above..and the top ten Ras discards are easy to memorize..verges on being an absolute must to know them
Eolus619 says: Btw…to add some detail to why Jazz emphasizes max pegging ..with the four cut ..the crib now needs a Pone 3 or 6 to get to 8 or 12 …a K-6 discard which is considered a good balk by Pone would be great cribbage luck ..all this is out of dealer hands ..111 after this hand will be tough to achieve now
Eolus619 says: There is a likely chance for a four point crib as 8 of the 20 cards making up the ten most frequent Pone discards are either a Q or K.
1330 votes

Joined: December 2017

Tuesday 7:25 AM
Some might be tempted to keep the 4577 and gamble on the cut, reasoning that we need to get into position to count out next hand, or peg out on a further one. But with pone at 84, this is not the case - we can win by offense *or* defense, and given that these cards aren't wunderbar, I'm inclined to defense, at least in the discard. Also, when you consider how much better 45 is than A2, I'm not even confident 4577 would give us the best odds on that front. Say we cut a six, that's 12 points, and A2 scores 0-2 a good amount of the time, getting us only into marginal position. And the odds of a six cut are very low - I think the odds of 45 a sploding in the crib are greater.

I see how the A245 improves on every cut (for once), but that isn't worth much when you start with 0.

And A245 is a bad defensive pegging hand. Similarly of 4577 - yeah, you'd get away with either hand probably 75+% of the time, but the hands where it goes kaboom could well end up being losses. Not doing any cut by cut analysis today, just kind of "amplifying the gut" and what I would've done in a real game.

Checking Liam, I'm confident this is right. It is on top averaging about 12.6 in hand+crib. I was way wrong on what might be the "next best" choices though - A477 (25) is in second at 11.9, A577 (24) in third at 11.4, 2577 (A4) in fourth at 10.7, 2477 (A5) in fifth at 9.7, A245 (77) in sixth at 9.6, and the one I saw as its biggest rival 4577 (A2) is all the way in seventh at 9.4.

Those numbers definitely back defense, at least before the cut. A hand that averages 12.6 will fall short a lot of the time. I think often A277 would only peg like 2-3 points.

The cut is kind of awkward as far as strategy goes. I have a lame, four point hand, but 445?? in the crib. I tend to be pessimistic about cribs and am usually right in this so I'd play pretty balanced in the pegging, certainly wouldn't pair an ace or deuce lead. Yeah pone might have tossed me a six like 6K, but the odds are still against it so I'd rather not do anything rash.

My hillbilly neighbors set up a crossbow range in the backyard. If they overshoot the target by about three feet, they'll send a bolt into the side of the house behind us, or even into one of their upstairs windows. I love these guys.
horus93 says: Playing aggressively with that cut is thinking in only one direction. Sure, 96*-84, 109-97*, 119*-108, that's a way to win. But so is 96*-84, 104-94*, 114*-107. So given that we only have a four point hand, it doesn't seem like a good idea to play heavy offense and shut the door on a back game. Although I wouldn't play max defense either, but I do think it'd be a mistake to do anything really crazy.
4166 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 8:05 AM
Three weeks have gone by already in this short, often maligned month, and so November is already old enough to purchase intoxicating beverages and cigarettes. You gotta celebrate those milestones in life as they occur, folks!

At Hole 96, we are the Dealer, sitting atop the Fourth Street Par Hole "fence post" like a turtle in the rain! Who or what put us there, we cannot be sure, but this isn't the first time in just the past week that we've enjoyed a similar such vantage point.

That wonderful description of "finding a turtle atop a fence post" has always been one of a few "Circumstantial Evidence" arguments I enjoy the most, another being the precious wisdom emanating from, I believe Henry David Thoreau, who said, "There's not too much credence one can put in circumstantial evidence, save perhaps when you find a trout in the milk."

Pone is a Dozen Points back at Hole 84, and Pone's main wish is to 'cover' at least those Seven Holes necessary to avert a SKUNK, which is not assured by any means. Obtaining a SKUNK here is an extremely low-probability event, so we won't even allow this thought to alter our calculations (now I am sorry I brought it up!), but we should WIN this game at least Eight out of Ten times. (I performed two quick playouts, and promptly lost both, so I've already proved one side of the equation -- chuckle, laughter, whining.)

Today we dealt ourselves three Small Cards: A-2-4, and a 5 Card, and a PAIR of 7 Cards. It looks fairly straightforward to Toss (4 5), and I am wondering what Puzzle Poster scottcrib has up his sleeve for us today. Of course, Toss (7 7) has a Crib Value close to Six Points, but Toss (4 5) 'rings the bell' at closer to Six-and-a-Half Points, and it allows us to keep the A-7-7 Trio intact. (That sounds like the name of a Jazz Band.)

Pegging with three or four Small Cards, with hands such as (A 2 3 5) or (A 2 4 5) as we might hold today can do quite well in the Dealer's domain, so we are left to wonder how Keep (A 2 7 7) will fare in comparison. It still appears to be a good pegging specimen, as an Ace-Deuce couplet is often a strong show-er during the final volley of pegging, and we have a three-card Sweet Sixteen of 2-7-7. This is a rather weak Sweet Sixteen however, since Pone is usually unlikely to allow a 5 Card to 'sidle-up' alongside a 7 Card, but it can happen, as Pone might unload a solitary 5 Card at a Count of Twelve, after we've responded to an "X" Card Lead with -- our Deuce! Keep (A 2 7 7) also has some good 'Five Card Cut Insurance,' as such a Cut Card DOUBLES our Hand from Four Points to Eight Points, and it touches the Crib right in a Sweet Spot as well.

I am having a strong case of déjà vu when I think of Sunday's Dealer Discard of Toss (3 3), because today I cannot think of why we shouldn't Toss (4 5), and do so as often as the day is long!

Let's Toss (4 5) today, and mop up on Aisle Four during this endgame, hunky-dory, tickety-boo, lickety-split.

After the 4 Card Cut, we still have Four Points in our Hand, but we could have also had a similar 'no-hitter' after a whopping Twenty-Three Cuts (444, 9999, TTTT, JJJJ, QQQQ, KKKK) anyway, which is 50% of the remaining deck, or a coin toss, so you win some, and you lose some, and we should just be glad they allow us to play!

The 4 Card Cut might however really ignite our Crib, especially if Pone stashed a loose Trey or 6 Card in there, and since we'll never know for sure, we can pretend that it's really, really good! We should "Play On" very aggressively here, as we did a few days ago. For example, after a 9 Card Lead, I'll respond with a 7 Card, because if Pone grabs (24-3), then I'll 🦃 gobble-gobble that (31=2) like it's delicious dark meat.

Each point we get is probably worth 'giving up' twice as much, especially if we need the extra "push." We want to achieve close to or better than "par" during each of our pending Three Counts, and it's especially vital to try to get as close to or beyond Hole 111 by completion of this deal. We may not. With only Four Points of certainty in our Hand, and half as much for certain coming in our Crib, there are lots of ways we could really mess this up, in spite of our tremendous Positional Advantage.

Since this decision seems very straightforward today, let's delve into the matter of simply winning, as opposed to winning by how much? So: Let's mix Cribbage, and Food, and Money, and Opinions, and try to carry on that time-honored American Tradition of a good, Thanksgiving Argument! Or would you rather see some annotated Cribbage Endgame Battles?

In addition to WINNING in Cribbage, we often want to accrue as many precious NET Spread Points, because aside from actually winning games, the accumulation of Spread Points is what 'makes or breaks' whether a player goes home with less or with more money than they arrived with at the game site! The number of WINS sorts the Wheat from the Chaff, but it is then our accumulation of points that determines how much we get to eat, and what the bread tastes like. (That's a desperate and weak analogy, but it'll do for a chilly Tuesday in November.)

There are at least two issues that might be addressed: First of all, Spread Points are like the temperature outside: it shouldn't ever harm you to know what the data is! The second issue is, what do the data reveal? I've always looked at all Cribbage Statistics as extremely revealing, not just for determining head-to-head Player Strength, but to help address any weaknesses in my game that can possibly be improved. So, there is KNOWING the value, and then USING it. It's okay, if you work inside, to not care about the outside temperature: but to those who venture forth, knowing the "elements" can help you adapt and survive and prosper.

In a large playing group, there may be several dozens of players with the same number of WINS, and of course if you play stakes that involve not only so many bucks per game, but also so much 'moolah' per point (and many players will then DOUBLE the amount for SKUNKS, and DOUBLE IT AGAIN for Double SKUNKS), you soon learn that Hole 90 is that precious Real Estate where you make virtually most of your 'Cribbage Dough'! If you never play in such tournaments or never play for stakes (especially per-point, or additional for SKUNKS), then (and only then) can you ignore Spread Points, but if you wish to maximize winnings then you should treat every game score like it's your earnings statement (because essentially, that's what it is!).

It's a bit like that adage in investing, in which you find that trying to "time the market" can be a fool's errand, because in any twenty-year period, most of your earnings will be tied to a small percentage of HUGE growth days, days that occur randomly, and that often occur during long (even year-long!) DOWN markets! We just had one of those days three weeks ago, when, during the week that ended on November 3, 2023, the markets rose nearly 7%, capping off the best week in 2023 since January! You cannot afford to miss those days if you manage a fund. Historically, quite a few of them occurred in the years right after 1930, the depths of the depression.

If you miss just a few of those random, super-charged days, it can reduce your wealth by an enormous amount over the long haul; the same mathematical process is at work in game theory. When we sense an easy WIN, we don't want to become casual and think, "I may as well relax, since there's no way I can lose." The attitude really needs to be, "I've got this 'in the bag,' so let's fill that bad bag as much as possible!" Acquiring Spread Points is basically what we're doing when we play Cribbage, and every game WON adds to this collection, while every LOSS subtracts from it; so the WINS and LOSSES are inextricably tied to the accumulation of points.

If we take the issue up a notch, yes, we can easily disregard Spread Points if we are simply a "Kitchen Table" Cribbage Player, or if we play some Crib down at Al's Pub each Saturday Night for bragging rights, or maybe we do a "Best of Three" during a break at work each day, a buck a game. But the moment we have a group, or a playoff, or stakes-per-point, or a tournament of any kind, now Spread Points are the next best thing after Game WINS.

Also, in online play, the statistics can get 'gummed up' by early quitters, yet every time someone quits early, we can at least harvest the Spread Points at which the game was severed. And, if you keep stat's in your play, knowing tour Win Rate is of course paramount, but then, if you also have the Spread Points recorded, even if it's a lifetime of games with the same two players, this tells you a LOT of additional information about those players. Make it a larger group, and the Spread Points that you are ahead or behind a particular player by reveals a lot. Every game of Cribbage played has not just a Winner, but many statistics: Average Pone Hand, Average Dealer Hand, Average Crib, Average Pone Pegging, Average Dealer Pegging, and Spread Points. It's the Final Score! We can ignore these, but knowing what they are does no harm. None of these things are not worth knowing.

It's okay to contend that Spread Points are unimportant, but if we bump up this logic one notch, the argument is akin to saying, "Well, we don't really keep track of who WINS, either!" and in the financial world, it would be the same as saying, "Money doesn't matter; as long as you're happy." Those are actually very valid arguments, but knowing "how much" money you made, or "how many" points by which you won, only adds to your knowledge, and knowledge need never be justified by utility (I forget who said that). It's inherently good to know more rather than less.

It's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and forty or more years ago, I used to at least try to be on the road early, destination being anywhere from Colorado, to New Mexico, to Idaho, or Washington State, or Oregon. Oh, how times have changed, as I now have a dozen-year-old car with just 10,000 miles on it, and it still has the original tires, in the mid stages of dry rot. Yet among those few hundred other seniors who live here, only a few of us still enjoy the freedom of having a car.

I no longer relish thousand-mile, two-day road trips, in order to visit family and friends for a Thanksgiving Feast, but for those of you who are on the roads this week and maybe next, take your time, be safe, and prepare for the elements! We cannot afford to lose a single contributor on this "Hand of the Day" site, and if you must endure a snowstorm or icy weather, please pull over and wait it out if you are able.

I remember one year, way back in the early 1980s, we were barely east of our starting point in Boise, and this was when a nearby town of Caldwell, Idaho had the last red light on any Interstate Highway in the nation! But we were headed the other way, toward Colorado for a week, and we were just getting started and hardly even beyond halfway to Twin Falls, as we were sailing down I-80N. This later of course became renamed as I-84, as too many cars going through Salt Lake City on I-80, cars that were ostensibly bound for San Francisco, were ending up in Portland! (Talk about taking a wrong turn!)

As we dropped down a steep grade in the King Hill area (which I must tell you is very aptly named), I could see flashing lights at the bottom of this very long, several-mile, steep downhill section, and we began to wonder, with an infant in a car seat inside of our early 70s Dodge Colt, not suited for snow, with its feather-weight and rear-wheel-drive, I began paying strict attention to the icy conditions that had seemingly developed out of thin air (literally), and as we came within a mile of the mess that was revealing itself ahead of us, we saw trucks sliding off the roadway left and right, and crashes too numerous to count, but it all still seemed so far away to the bottom of this long grade that I thought I had plenty of time to figure it all out. Then I started to hear bumper-car action, and realized that many of the cars around us were already losing control!

We were rolling down this steep grade, maybe only at 45 mph, as I had already downshifted to a lower gear, but even at this much slower speed, it was a terrible feeling when I would touch the brakes ever-so-gently, and: nothing but SLIDE! It actually felt as though any braking whatsoever made the car SPEED UP! I could probably try to make some Cribbage Endgame Analogy out of the way it seemed as though we were in this Polar Vortex that was pulling us toward a terrible collision (loss of game), and we were really at the mercy of almost zero friction and zero traction.

I rolled perhaps farther than another ten football fields in length, or a thousand yards, trying to "catch" little drifts of snow along the edge of the lane, because the roadway proper was glare ice, and we were in a bobsled race to nowhere! My guess is that we arrived at the bottom and the worst section perhaps a few minutes after the crashes had started, and I know it got a lot worse after we 'ran the gauntlet' because later that night we learned that the entire Interstate had been closed down shortly after the time we were there. As we ran what seemed like a sled course, I had just enough steering and braking to avert what would have been many severe wrecks, and cars were being 'taken out' left and right every few seconds! The worst section had us straddling a narrow path between several trucks on one side, and some jersey barriers on the other side that didn't appear to be too friendly to metal and glass and family vacationers!

We slithered through somehow unscathed, and I felt like I had "threaded the needle" and avoided disaster, but for about two or three miles of that steep decline, I could not get the car to slow down below about 40 mph to save my life, which it might have done. We broke our 800-mile trek into two travel days, and I had chains and snow tires, but the latter don't help much on glare ice, and the former are very difficult to put on while you're moving and cannot stop! These days, I have an all-wheel-drive Subaru that is wonderful in any ice or snow, as long as it's below the nine-inch clearance of the frame, but I am not in the mood to travel anywhere, and if I am lucky, my neighbors at the seniors apartment will bring me pumpkin pie and more!

But I'm just hoping to encourage anyone who might be traveling during these Winter Holidays, just be extra careful, and try to be as prepared as possible. Having grown up north of Buffalo, and now once again living here the past two decades, I actually enjoy the winters and the snow, and one of the best tips on foul-weather driving I can share is to always have a one-day travel "buffer" and USE IT, even if you miss the Thursday Dinner, or the Christmas Morning Gift Exchange. (Those who do Hanukkah have Eight Days of Gifts, so I suppose that makes 'losing a travel day' a cinch!)

It's amazing how waiting one full day can almost always improve roads immensely, so build in a buffer, and don't be in a hurry, and put those darn cell phones where you cannot see or hear them while you are driving! Unless someone is keeping a list that I'm not privy to, we don't want to lose any of you, so have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday! Lastly: If any of you are struggling out there, maybe some other one of us can try and help.
Eolus619 says: all the best for T day JQT..CHOD is blessed to have you on board with us!! Having driven the high country roads in Colorado in all seasons, in all types of weather for many decades now..I will only say..respect Mother Nature...she ALWAYS is the Dealer
Sgt Pegger
353 votes

Joined: July 2017

Tuesday 8:21 AM
welp....I'm in the 3 %er group....sigh.... I guess I just don't "get it". I play the 4 first in my choice of hold here and now I have pegging opportunities and "outs" at the same time. I put a 5 in the crib, so I know I have 2 more coming. Without playing a card I should see at least a gain of 9-11 points in total. Typically, I will gain around 16-20 points in total with my choice of hold here. So, I fall on my sword for this one I guess because with my choice? I am in the proper range of gain for the dealer which is 16 or better. I land around the 112 hole or better.
horus93 says: Eh it's not that bad a play that's in second place. It just comes down to realizing how much better the "touching" 45 is than the spread-out 25. Expecting ~9-11 points in hand+crib is reasonable, but it'd be pretty hard to peg the 7-11 points needed to get to 16-20. I'd say either your choice or the A277 would usually score below the 16 point average in hand+crib+pegging.
Sgt Pegger says: Well with the A477 I should be in control of the pegging agreed? So, if they play a 7 we are on our way to happy town! They play a 4 we are good not great. They play an A ehh... I just love this situation in general and I usually perform very well with this hand. The crib in my scenario is just along for the ride. I don't like playing for the crib. I know I am guaranteed 2 points in the crib, and I will bet there is even more than that coming! As I stated, I earn 16-20 points (total pegging, hand & crib count), as the dealer in this position. Knowing the pone is likely to be looking for some action, I'll give him some, knowing that I am in control of the overall pegging.
1205 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 9:04 AM
Love it...(4 5) to the crib should allow me the best of both worlds here. After the 4 cut, I only have a 4 pt hand, with potentially an excellent crib. I would be cautious and not leave pone to be able to triple without a satisfactory response. The 7 seems like a prudent response to a 4 lead.
MiketheExpert says: Hmmm...I thought I still had a 4 for some reason. I guess the 7 is a DEFINITE response to a 4 lead.
MiketheExpert says: Would certainly pair a 7 lead, would 15-2 an 8 lead, and think I would also chance pairing a deuce lead. Don't think I'd pair an A lead, instead play the 7.
70 votes

Joined: April 2022

Tuesday 9:47 AM
I figured get the 5 into the crib where it might meet some x cards, and let it have the 4 touching it, preserving 7-7-1 in the hand.
1560 votes

Joined: July 2016

Tuesday 10:04 AM
This is the only way to get the max of 4 starting points and put a Two Star toss in the Crib. Left with only 4 after the cut. Might be a big Crib; might not. Let's assume the average of 6 in the Crib, and only one for pegging. That's only 107. Gotta peg everything in site.
979 votes

Joined: January 2019

Tuesday 10:32 AM
I wanted 4 5 in my crib, it’s gratifying to see that everyone else pretty much agrees.
5666 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 2:08 PM
I'll look at A-2-7-7 (4-5) and A-5-7-7 (2-4):

A-2-7-7: 4pts + 6½pts (Schell: 6.48) = 10½pts

A-5-7-7: 4pts + 4½pts (Schell: 4.52) = 8½pts


A-2-7-7: Improves with AAA, 222, 3333, 555, 6666, 77, 8888 = 23 cuts = 23/46 = 50.0% up to 7/8/12pts with AAA, 3333, 555, 6666, 77 = 16 cuts.

A-5-7-7: Improves with AAA, 222, 3333, 555, 6666, 77, 8888, 9999 + 16xXs = 43 cuts = 43/46 = 93.5% up to 8/10/12pts with AAA, 222, 3333, 6666, 77, 8888 = 20 cuts


We're at 4th street positional hole while Pone is 8pts behind. I'll play Offense and try to get as far past 112pts as possible.


I think both hands will peg well playing Offense but I think A-2-7-7 will peg slightly better.


A-2-7-7 has a starting value 2pts better than A-5-7-7 and although A-5-7-7 has many more cuts for improvement and 20 cuts for 8-12pts compared to 16 cuts for 7-12pts with A-2-7-7. Even so I don't think A-5-7-7 will catch up the 2pts on A-2-7-7 so I'll throw the 4-5.
5391 votes

Joined: February 2008

Tuesday 2:13 PM
At 96*-84 playing an Offense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Offense___Hand_Pegs_Crib_Total____W1 %____W2 %

Offense_______L1 %____L2 %

A-2-7-7 is best for expected averages by 0.50pt. and is significantly best for Win %s and lowest for Loss %s. So I'll select 4-5 to discard.

After the 4 cut I'll play Defense to the lead.
5234 votes

Joined: November 2008

Tuesday 2:40 PM
HalscribCLX says most of what I would like to convey. Would peg optimally as don't know what might begin crib. If a trey or six spot discarded, crib will be a big boost. 4/5 averages 6.534 8/91 to own crib on 642 tosses to own crib. Will start with that average though that combination scores 8 or more nearly 45% of the time. Would pair a 7 lead and score 15-2 on an 8. Would not pair an Ace or deuce. N/D needs a solid hand this time to reach 4th street CPZ (95-99). A few pegs would be of benefit to dealer of this hand. With opponent at 84, just might get two deals to win. Of course, would like to chalk up the win on upcoming deal with first count.