February 8, 2024

*** This hand was suggested by Ras2829
94*-92  ?
Total votes: 281
1378 votes

Joined: February 2009

Thursday 3:22 AM
We need 27 points in our 3 counts-it’s tempting to keep the 55 in our hand for a potential 5 trip but the 2 holds with double 5 leave our cribs very vulnerable to zero to 4 point totals-with the opponent at 92 we can be ultra aggressive in our pegging and the A249 covers a multitude of possible pone holds
3863 votes

Joined: June 2013

Thursday 3:36 AM
I'm optimistic enough about the prospects for 2-4 in the crib that I'll eschew 5-5. Whether I'm right to be is another story though.
133 votes

Joined: October 2023

Thursday 3:42 AM
55 for me
2039 votes

Joined: March 2016

Thursday 4:36 AM
This looks like Ras' Big Hand Rule. If I toss 5-5 to my crib, the hand does not have a potential for 12 or more points. Also Ras has said that sometimes we need pegging cards in our hand.
Rosemarie44 says: It is a small hand rule! I need to have coffee. You're on your own!
Inushtuk1 says: Hi Rosemarie. I think you were right the first time. This *is* one of the exceptions to the Big Hand Rule, as we are sacrificing 4 points to make the (5-5) toss, and the hand has no potential for 12 that I can see. But we had this hand back on Jan. 23rd, and Ras tossed the (5-5). Good to see you back here.
Rosemarie44 says: Sorry that I didn't get back on site Thursday. thank you for input. Glad to be back with all of you.
6291 votes

Joined: April 2008

Thursday 4:54 AM
Any time I can do something other then 9-A-5-5 and with only giving up two points at the start between hands I will do it here. Watch the pairing or even trips on the pegging. dec
Inushtuk1 says: Hi dec. So does that mean the 2 on the 9 lead? If we pair the 9, and it is tripped for (27-6), our 4 recoups two of those points.
dec says: 9-9-9-4- doable for me also. dec
Inushtuk1 says: Hi again dec. Thanks for your quick response. What about the other 3 leads we could pair?
4044 votes

Joined: April 2011

Thursday 5:03 AM
Heavy offense for the rest of this game.
1335 votes

Joined: August 2018

Thursday 5:03 AM
Double Nickel Ranch
5669 votes

Joined: March 2008

Thursday 5:07 AM
Looking for a sizeable crib.
1240 votes

Joined: December 2017

Thursday 5:15 AM
Didn’t we have this recently? Heyy look at that I can remember things once in a while. Need to remember more though. Not only do I tend to get the “pure discard” Ras puzzles wrong, but I tend to get them wrong multiple times in a row… gotta start keeping an actual log of tricky hands to review on occasion.
This hand is a true shocker though – my gut does *not* think that A249 is a strong enough hand to justify passing on a six-pointer to throw 55. Cribbage is full of surprises.

I like to talk smack about 55, but I know it’s the best toss. I just get disappointed when it scores under 8, and it pretty frequently does that. Similarly if I talk about 78 or 45 as “lame two-stars” – they’re some of the best tosses in the game, but I do notice those missing tenths in means.

Strategically speaking, there is a path to win by defense here, but these cards are too strong for that. One good reason to lean to offense at scores like this even with a lame cut is because you can peg out on the last hand. That gets harder if oppo’s surplus in the back gets to 15+ points, but here he’s hopefully too far back to get the jump on us. So even if I’m only at like 106-107 next hand, decent odds of managing to peg out with aggressive play, surely greater than the odds of knocking oppo off course.

A249 should peg alright and now and then it will peg really well. You could make the same vague pronouncement of any LLLM or LLLX hand for dealer or pone.
And the positional stuff ties in nicely with the game with Inushtuk! Second hand, 17-6*.

I was dealt AA245Q. That’s a hand that sort of challenges the rule of thumb. I want to play on with bad cards, and play off with good cards. Here I can hold a decent but not stellar hand, A45Q, to throw the reasonably safe A2. Or I can hold a much better hand, especially with pegging factored in, AA4Q, and throw the reasonably dangerous 25.

I went with 25. A few reasons to throw so aggressively despite having a big lead:

1.) Insurance against falling off course in the hands to come

2.) Inushtuk is so far back that 25 *might* get him into marginal position in the front, say 30 or so, and that’s a worst case Ontario. And that wouldn’t be such a disaster since I could switch to heavy defense, and would hopefully have a good buffer to do so.

3.) The yellow zone. It is good to have a large surplus, 15-20+ points, not only because it’s insurance against bad cards, but to prevent an “overtime!” endgame pegout. As it is, my surplus is only about 11 points.

4.) At this spot, I would say my scoring and Inustuk’s scoring are roughly equally important. Well, if your scoring and oppo’s are both important, it follows you should value your hand/pegging more than his crib, which is only a fraction of his scoring. What if you throw A2 and he throws 33 anyway? Or what if you throw A2, it balks his crib, but he has a 14 point hand anyway? Or you throw 25 and he has a 4 point crib and a lame hand anyway? And so on. There are plenty of places where you should value the crib a lot, but this isn’t one of them imo.

In the moment I figured this would be south for hand-minus-crib. It’s actually tied with A2. Good example of how it can be a misleading metric – those two picks are equal for hand-minus-crib but they’re hardly on a level. So for me it’s not that you shouldn’t be too defensive in early game – sometimes I’m *very* defensive even on the opening hand; but I do think about position a little more “loosely”.

Inushtuk had an easier choice, throwing himself 5T to hold a flush, [ATJQ]. Although maybe it’s not so easy after all… I would have done the same thing following the star system/gut – a two star with a seven point flush should be better than a one-star (A5) with the double run if for no other reason than that flushes are magic. But 2+7=9, 1+8=9… they’re actually tied for hand+crib per Liam. Comparing them on offense: the [ATJQ] flush has an eleven, and you could also trap a X. But the double-run – that too can trap a X, and once in a while you get a three-on-none for four points. They’re probably very close. The distributions don’t look hugely different either for hand+crib score.

I guess I still like the flush because the eleven is so much more common than the three-on-none, even if it scores less. And remember if you get the eleven you shut out the count, you’re still going to get a go or last, so it’s three points, versus four if the three-on-none materializes – not really a huge difference, though the latter *seems* way better because you’re getting all those points in one go. Many cases like this in pegging where one play seems better for some such reason, and in fact it’s either even or hardly worse than something that looks more conservative when you account for the “go” structure.

The cut was an off-suit seven. So it’s my AA4Q versus his [ATJQ] flush.

Pegging went: Q-Q(20-2)-4(24)-A(25)-A(26-2)-“go”-A(27-7)//J-T(20-1)

I’ve already given up so much for offense tossing that 25; and the cut doesn’t seem to hit it; so I make the aggressive lead with the Q. Like I was saying yesterday – leading the four (or is there a case for the ace?) will save you points if for no other reason than that it minimizes odds of dealer scoring on your opening. But if you’re up against a hand that will really stomp you, you’ll often get stomped no matter what you lead. Although, again, don’t doubt there are cases where the four would save you some points in those cases. But the X lead isn’t really so wildly worse than a low-card lead on the defensive side, imo.

Inushtuk pairs me. Good play for sure. He has a decent seven point hand and a great crib toss; makes sense to be aggressive. Then maybe a 31 with his ace.
But I play my four to keep my aces together, making the count 24. He’s forced to play his lone ace, and I trap it for 9 points with my two aces. Every bullet has its billet… Some people may wonder what I mean by worst case Ontario, if they're not familiar with Trailer Park Boys; let this be an example.

Then he gets a two-on-none with his JT for last.

But it was just crap luck on his side, I would have played it the same, and most posters probably would have too. That’s just how cribbage goes. I have plenty of games where it seems like *all* of my “theoretically correct” plays blow up terribly.

In the show I count my six point hand, and nine in the pegging, I’m at 32*. Inushtuk counted his seven point hand; and in the crib, his 5T met my 25 and a 7 cut for six points. Plus his pair and last in the pegging, he’s at 22.

So, 32*-22 – mostly a situation for defense, obviously; at the same time, a case where oppo is *so* far back that I can tolerate a bit of risk. Shortening the game entirely is hardly impossible from 32*-22. And you’ll hear more about it tomorrow!
1281 votes

Joined: June 2020

Thursday 6:20 AM
Ras and Jazz team up again in this puzzle ..the big hand rule is the answer until it i isn’t…Send the highest average discard to own crib and the hand + crib gets cut help from 12/13 ranks…& like the keep’s pegging potential..Might as well throw in a Rob axiom too..“sign me up”
419 votes

Joined: December 2020

Thursday 6:27 AM
Ras & Company once again dangle a shiny object (in this case the 5-5) to test my play. I am ahead by two starting to enter the end game... The pone may very likely choose defense and balk my crib... this could be an opportunity.... fives aweigh.
Meh cut.... let's see what the pone tossed.
sterno says: How's JQT? I haven't see a post from him recently?
858 votes

Joined: March 2020

Thursday 6:47 AM
I hate the A-5-9 combos, but grudgingly hold them. This time, I wanted the 5's to hopefully work better in the crib, and keep the little cards for pegging.
385 votes

Joined: November 2016

Thursday 7:06 AM
Key thing seems to be grinding out extra points here. Like the pegging potential with low cards and an 11. Cut induces some hindsight bias to ignore.
Andy (muesli64)
2210 votes

Joined: August 2009

Thursday 7:26 AM
I guess the lesson/catch from Ras is that 5-5 is a better throw than 2-4.
2959 votes

Joined: November 2014

Thursday 7:34 AM
Always like a 5 in my crib. I like it better when I can put two 5s in my crib. Did ponder the "triple nickel" hold of A-4-5-5, and briefly considered A-5-5-9 holding max points. Not seeing any face cards, fingers crossed for a T-K, Q-K or other toss from my opponent.
Inushtuk1 says: Seeing that cut, my fingers are crossed for a (7-X).
wasa says: Ohhhh a 7-X would also be fine!
353 votes

Joined: June 2016

Thursday 7:37 AM
Ras... are you "listening". What do you (or anyone else) think of this toss?
Eolus619 says: Morning lonmower..just a thought as to your question...possibly you might benefit by thinking of the crib as an extension of the hand..you can see from the link 2-9 ranks low as to average..then what about your keep and cut help..well the fives get help from the Xs regardless of where they end up ..so what about your keep..of the 30 remaining cards only 12 help your keep...but as you can see the random cut of a six created a "boom" in your hand..however..this outstanding result might prove to be a false positive as to what the best % choice was..as JQT would say..cribbage is not a self correcting game....also have a think about the "why" when you are willingly/knowingly sacrificing points to begin..all the best.. http://www.cribbageforum.com/SchellDiscard.htm
Eolus619 says: btw 2-9 is ranked #3 by Liam Brown..so you are certainly in the " % area" but being 1.5 points [hand+crib] lower is a considerable amount
Inushtuk1 says: Hi lonmower. You asked, so here goes. A-4-5-5 is a great keep, *if*, you are non-dealer. You got lucky today. But I very much agree with what Bruce and JQT said. Erase from your mind how well it worked out today. Not easy to do however.
1062 votes

Joined: April 2021

Thursday 9:00 AM
We need a few things to go right here - I prefer the "risk" of (5 5) in the crib, and being left with this hand for pegging (A 2 4 9) than starting with the 6-pt (A 5 5 9). It is not overwhelmingly in favor of doing it this way --- remember, (5 5) can still leave us with ONLY a 2-pt crib about 2% of the time, and 4 or less about 1/8. Let's hope the 6 cut does a lot for us in the crib, because it did not help our hand very much. Let's do any and everything we can to score at any opportunity we have - even 2-3 pegs above average could make a world of difference.....
Eolus619 says: hello MTE...at this score Pone just might want to balk..it will depend on his/her remaining keep...Qs & Ks are the most common Pone balking cards..having seen no Xs hand or cut.. optimistic about the 5/5 crib
horus93 says: Interestingly, liam thinks this keep is more reliable overall, though i wouldn't have. A559 does look like a somewhat better pegger, probably makes up some but not all of the 0.7 gap.
1428 votes

Joined: July 2016

Thursday 10:26 AM
"The (5-5) has such a high average to the crib, scoring 81% at 8 points or more, matters not whether choosing offense or defense. That pair fills the bill from a hand such as this." That was a quote from Ras on January 23rd of this year. I think going against Rob, Ras, and all the top online players here is something you do at your own peril. I'm going to assume I have 8 points here even with that 6 cut. Hoping for a 7 toss from Pone. But that still leaves me at hole 107 with the guaranteed peg. Offense to the lead. I will pair the 9, and take the (31-2), if it is tripped that is.
1148 votes

Joined: January 2021

Thursday 12:24 PM
I entered this one with little thought, so this is likely what I'd have done in a game. Definitely seeing now the 5-5 should have, if not jumped out to me, at least gotten a longer look.
22 votes

Joined: January 2024

Thursday 3:20 PM
I’m new here & each day I am baffled by my incorrect tosses to crib. ( not in w/ the majority) Chalk it up to inexperience. Today I lucked out with the cut, but like Eolus said: remember one’s own crib. Thank you all for your insight!
Eolus619 says: Hello Annabella..first welcome...I recommend you view Ras's video class at the link below..it is a cribbage treasure trove of information each week is actually a ten minute video..+/- so you can get through the entire eight week claasses in 90 minutes =/-or ten minutes at a time as your schedule permits...You can also just pick out a subject and view it out of sequence. You will become better after watching..all the best https://vashoncribbage.weebly.com/strategy.html
RubyTuesday says: You will find that the way you think about your hand changes as you see what the experts do, and why they make their throws. I often get it wrong, but feel pleased when I’ve made a throw that others agree with.
5547 votes

Joined: October 2007

Thursday 3:46 PM
I'll look at A-2-4-9 (5-5), A-5-5-9 (2-4) and A-2-5S-9 (4-5H):

A-2-4-9: 2pts + 8¾pts (Schell: 8.79) = 10¾pts

A-5-5-9: 6pts + 4½pts (Schell: 4.52) = 10½pts

A-2-5S-9: 2pts + 6½pts (Schell: 6.48) = 8½pts


A-2-4-9: Improves with AAA, 222, 3333, 444, 55, 6666, 8888, 999 + 16xXs = 42 cuts = 91.3% up to 6/8pts with AAA, 222, 3333, 444, 999 = 16 cuts.

A-5-5-9: Improves with AAA, 444, 55, 6666, 999 + 16xXs = 31 cuts = 31/46 = 67.4% up to 10/12/14pts with AAA, 55, 999 = 8 cuts.

A-2-5S-9: Improves with AAA, 222, 3333, 444, 55, 6666, 7777, 8888, 999 + 16xXs = 46 cuts = 46/46 = 100.0% up to 6/7pts with AAA, 3333, 55, 999 = 8 cuts


We're 2pts short of 4th street positional hole while Pone is 4pts short so I'll play Defense.


I think both A-2-4-9 and A-2-5-9 will peg well although I slightly prefer A-2-4-9.


A-2-4-9 is best for starting value by ¼pt over A-5-5-9 and it has more cuts for improvement. Although A-5-5-9 has 8 cuts for 10-14pts A-2-4-9 has 16 cuts for 6/8pts which is a sizeable improvement over 2pts. It also should peg better. So I'll throw the 5-5 to my box.
5268 votes

Joined: February 2008

Thursday 3:47 PM
At 94*-92 playing an Optimal strategy for the pegging (cautious offense0 the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Optimal___Hand_Pegs_Crib_Total____W2 %____W3 %

Optimal_______L2 %____L3 %

A-2-4-9 is best for expected averages by 0.94pt. and is slightly best for Win %s and although A-5-5-9 is considerably lower for Loss %s I'll still select 5-5 to discard.

After the 6 cut I'll play Offense to the lead.
5095 votes

Joined: November 2008

Thursday 5:30 PM
HalscribCLX says it all for me this day. At hole 94, am choosing offense at all decision points. Take any pegs offered after seeing the 6 on the deck. With a four-point hand, a card that has questionable value in the crib. Hope n/d tossed 4-X or 7-X. One of those just might salvage this game. With a crib of less than six, a hand of four, and n/d at 92, not good prospects. This is a No Hand Rule, I reckon since it fits neither Big Hand or Small Hand Rules. Many players have found the sacrifice limits to be of assistance to dealer in discarding regardless of the hand. Do you know the sacrifice limits? If you would like to know about them and how dealer can apply, e-mail raswino29@outlook.com.
875 votes

Joined: January 2019

Friday 12:32 AM
I threw 5 5 to my crib for loadsapoints please. Before i came here I’d have thrown 2 4, you have all made me think differently.