February 10, 2024

*** This hand was suggested by Inushtuk1
55-70*  ?
Total votes: 231
Inushtuk1Crib Pro game. A-4-4-6 is the flush is a good pegger. (7-9) is dangerous. The flush starts with 2 more points but gives away two.
3863 votes

Joined: June 2013

Saturday 3:20 AM
A tough one this morning. I'll take a stab in the dark at 4467. 4d lead.
2039 votes

Joined: March 2016

Saturday 3:36 AM
Definitely a tough choice this morning. I am going with the flush.
Andy (muesli64)
2210 votes

Joined: August 2009

Saturday 4:46 AM
A-4 is best compromise. Oppo is nearly out of sight already.
Granny says: agree
6291 votes

Joined: April 2008

Saturday 4:54 AM
Got to play offense potential here so the flush is my keep here. Lately that A-4 discard rarely goes over four in my games. Rewarded lets take a chunk of that lead off. dec
411 votes

Joined: December 2022

Saturday 5:37 AM
Cheers to all on International Cribbage Day and thanks to Sir John Suckling ♠️♦️♣️♥️
5669 votes

Joined: March 2008

Saturday 5:49 AM
I fell in love with the flush too.
1240 votes

Joined: December 2017

Saturday 6:21 AM
To win from this score, we have to gamble on offense. And I wouldn’t be close to giving up on a win. If you’re concerned about a skunk – cards are strong enough that offense will probably work just as well as defense or better. We’re right on par to dodge a skunk in the front, so a lot of the time winning and dodging a skunk require opposite strategies, but not necessarily here.

Keep 446 together hoping for a five cut? No thanks. This, too, has big cuts, and with a better starting hand.

A46 eleven? Four points in the bag, right? Not so. It’s a nice feature; especially when I’m on defense, it’ll make it more palatable to muck up my hand. But on the offensive side, isn’t really worth so much when you’re comparing it to a better hand, as the bot’s own numbers indicate, and as you would expect based on the actual frequency of XX hands and so on. Whatever hand you’re comparing it to has some kind of offensive potency of its own, maybe something that’s harder to see. So yeah A446 is an okay pegger, but 4679 is no dud, and I just don’t think it’ll bridge the gap in the show.

What about defense? We simply can’t afford it; I’ll even throw something nuts like 5X if I feel I have to at a spot like this, and hope it’ll give up only a 4-6 crib, or that oppo will have a bad hand anyway – and this is not such a wild wager, especially when your odds of winning are only ~10%. A4 is down there with KK as one of the safest point-containing throws to dealer, and though I seem to have bad luck with it, don’t doubt Ras and others on that one.

That said – throwing A9 to hold 4467 isn’t so off-base and would not be surprised if some people go that way. You get a balk in oppo’s crib, and you have potential to score well. It still seems to give up too much, to me. Cuts for four could be fatal.

There’s a train of thought that says, “KK starts with two, while A4 is pure angeldust, so it’s much worse and the means are misleading.” There’s some truth to this, the effect just isn’t nearly as big as is sometimes implied. For example, I plugged in a rando hand to discardpro to compare the distributions of A4 and KK: A4 scores 5+ 55% of the time; KK, 50%. A4 score 8+ 27% of the time, KK 31%. A4 scores 12+ 3% of the time, KK 8%. And A4 will score “just 2” 13% of the time; KK, 27%. That *is* a meaningful difference, but I hope you see what I mean, that the means don’t quite mean what people imply that they mean. Even Schell fell into this mistake; I used to write that way too, but Liam opened my eyeballs to the truth.

With that cut – 12 points; probably like many others here I do a quick calculation and say “okay say I peg 0, where will I be?” 63*, still six points south. So I see no room for defense.

But this Is an interesting pegging situation and one of the many I’m not sold about. 4679 – you can lead your seven to entice an 8; and if he does take the bait, play the six not the nine of course, because you don’t want to give up a 31-5, and because if he continues the run with a five, you stomp him with your four.

But a wily opponent will likely not take that 15. He’s much more likely to fifteen your six lead. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get a 31 out of it too.

So if I was playing Inushtuk, I would lead my six. But if I was playing one of the unwashed masses, I would lead my seven.

Yesterday’s puzzle is a good example of what I’ve been saying about the bot’s “offense” formula – I’m *not* saying that the bot (and most of the commenters) are wrong about that particular discard call, I’m on the fence there. But the 789T underpegs 4789 by 0.19, and outpegs 3789 by 0.09. So its mean overall scoring will be 9.59; 4789’s will be 8.56. Is it really so crazy to say that a hand that scores a point more in averages is better for offense? Of course that’s not to imply that you should straight ignore the crib at 0-0*. But there have been “many such cases”, as Trump would say, where the bot rules on a hand as “better on offense” because it subtracts the crib mean. I think Chesterton would have loved DCH because you can be controversial and common-sensical at the same time.

Alright, fourth hand with Inushtuk, 49-31*.

He dealt me 2334TK. I throw the bogus TK balk. “What do you mean bogus balk? It’s the best balk in the game.” Ras covers this issue pretty well, and so does Schell. If it seems like TK is failing all the time, it isn’t your imagination…

TK will give up an 8+ crib (in this hand, with this delta) 14.8% of the time. That’s exactly the same as the odds of 24 giving up an 8+ crib, which everyone recognizes as not the safest toss. Something that has about as much “kablooie” in it as 24 is not a top shelf balk, and I do avoid throwing it, as well as QK or TQ, if I can help it. Unless I’m in a situation where I really *need* a 0 point crib, as opposed to like a 4 point crib, I think of it as a fairly weak balk.

Of course doesn’t matter much when you have a sixteen point lead, and I wasn’t too shook about it, but it’s worth noting.
Inushtuk had A3359K and makes the clear play, tossing himself 5K.

The cut was a Queen. So with a 12 point hand at 49 – certainly mostly playing defense, but something big in the pegging could get me up there where I’m threatening a front win. And Inushtuk has only a 4 point hand, but with 5QK?? In his crib, surely thinking offense. And really you’d be playing offense no matter what at such a score, unless you really needed to avoid a skunk, in which case I’d play conservatively.

So it’s my 2334 vs his A339. Pegging went:


I lead my three, he pairs me, I triple. I can’t remember the last time I passed on a triple before late third street. I’m not sure about the odds, but seems like I give up a double pair royal maybe every few weeks or once a month or something like that – it’s rare, and six points in the pegging is huge, it’s worth it imo.

Also, in this case, six points in the pegging will push me up to near par in the front. So it’s even more worthwhile than normal; worst case, he gets 12, and he’ll still probably be in the hole; and often I’d get away with it, and be opening up a second path to victory.

But he does get the double pair royal. Oh well that’s the game.

I play my four because if I play my deuce, he could get a 15-5 with his ace.

He plays his nine, probably hoping against hope to pin a stray ace, as well as dodging a run he wouldn’t be able to retaliate against obviously, but na I have the deuce, and he gets last with his ace.

In the show – my 12 points, and six in the pegging, get me up to 67*. Inushtuk had his four point hand; in the crib, his 5K met my TK “balk” and the Queen cut to make 10 points. Call it “King Tut’s Revenge”. Plus 13 in the pegging, he’s at 60.

So at 67*-60, this certainly wasn’t ideal, but I regret nothing! No longer a desperate game for Inushtuk, but a plain ol’ double marginal. He mostly has to play offense, unless he gets a sweet hand+cut, although Hawthorn has tilted me a bit on this question. I can play offense or defense depending on how strong my cards are. More tomorrow!
horus93 says: Oh yeah I forgot the third alternative - lead the four, entice a 7 or 9 response. Still like it less than the 6 or 7 lead but may be wrong.
1281 votes

Joined: June 2020

Saturday 6:30 AM
Board position…Goodness gracious Mike..much in need of better card luck..perhaps even better play too? Considered keeping A-4-4-6 because of the cut help especially from all the Xs since we have seen none. ..but it starts with just four points. So..today I am going wasa since the flush seems to be the best part of a bad bargain. Start with six ..but only 20 cut cards help ..have to wonder if this is a desperate enough situation to consider A-9 and 🤞 for a four or five cut? thanks for the puzzle…whatever happens won’t be hard to count!!
2551 votes

Joined: March 2009

Saturday 6:43 AM
Best of a bad situation. A446, 4467 and 4469 all looking for a 5 cut for for 14 or 16 points; it gives us 12 with a better starting hand. And we hit for 12 with the 8.
Sgt Pegger
220 votes

Joined: July 2017

Saturday 8:46 AM
Shocked that the 4,4,6,7 with the A/9 toss is not the popular choice.

As always, I hold the flush apart and make the other cards & situation/position dictate why I should not go with the flush.

The A/9 is the best defensive throw and if we hit a 5 or even a 4, life is pretty good! There are 28 cards left in the deck of the remaining 40 that can help us. So, basically a 70% chance of improving this hand with the cut card.
1062 votes

Joined: April 2021

Saturday 8:59 AM
Desperation tactics for me at this score...Against the "normal" advice, today I will play for a FAVORABLE cut, as I need to stall my opponent badly, and this combo seems to have the best "5-card" cut insurance that I can think of.... The 8 cut is not that bad, next to a 4 or 5. Hey, at least it's not a face card....Doesn't look like I'll make 3rd street deal, unless dealer foolishly pairs my 4d lead (without having two 4's himself, mind you, which I would worry about more than usual if I find an experienced player doing this against me...). Lead from the "pair" anyway, and let's try and optimize our score while giving away the least possible. We should still have several deals to try and make our way back into this game.
MiketheExpert says: I also forgot to mention, didn't like the more dangerous crib throws of (A 4), (6 9), or even (7 9) as another reason for doing so.....
MiketheExpert says: Keeping the flush would be my next choice because of the better hand strength, despite the dangerous (A 4) discard and lack of improvement on the X-card cuts, other than a diamond.
MiketheExpert says: Saw yesterday's results late by HAL, and they were very interesting. What I am most surprised about...What would cause the difference between holding a 3 and 4 to cause the "pegging variance" to be so dramatically different..(1.15 vs. 1.43 pegs FOR). Any possible insights for this would be most welcome, as I would really like to know what makes HAL click when it comes to these pegging numbers...!
horus93 says: One factor would be the 489 "21"; so if you meet some hands, you can get a 31-2, and not just XXXX hands either. I don't think that would explain all of it, but probably a piece.
horus93 says: Maybe another one is simply that the 4 is nearer to 789 than the 3 is, so once in a while you could make a big run. Like 4-6(10)-7(17)-5(22-4)-8(30-7). I think one issue with pegging means is that these unlikely but huge payouts will inflate the numbers; and probably there are somewhat more of those with 4789 than 3789 for that reason alone.
horus93 says: Sorry that should be a 6 not a 7 - assuming you get the go of course.
MiketheExpert says: The extra 31-2 against hands of this nature, regardless of which card is led...Good thought horus. It could also perhaps be that dealer may be more biased to the pairing of a 4 lead than that of a trey, although we could respond with 15-2 to either, because of the relative frequency of situations where would lead with the 4 vs. the 3...Thus it is considered "safer" to pair the 4 lead than the 3.
MiketheExpert says: Significantly best for combined values, throwing (7 9) and holding onto (A 4 4 6), taking the pegging into consideration. When playing a "desperation" strategy however, what happens is the typical "averages" become less of a factor, and you rather focus on "specific" hopeful outcomes, believing that your W/L% rate is sufficiently low, that it bypasses the normally accepted mathematical "routine" or "correct" play. When in this mode, I am even LESS reliant on the differences in pegging than USUAL, not believing it to be a powerful enough difference to change the tide of such a poor situation. While also both the flush and the (A 4 4 6) have a higher expected hand average, it seems the ones which will modestly help (X cards) which give the hand a score of 8, also don't do ENOUGH to help our cause - while the flush performs this part of the job better, only to give away the unfortunate (A 4) in return, which knocks down the combined value.
MiketheExpert says: That being said, the realization is a 4 or a 5 cut will help (A 4 4 6) just as much as (4 4 6 7...PLUS you have the added extra help from the X-card cuts, and the better pegging, so it could in fact EVEN SO be the better decision...The only extra defensive safe-guard I have is against the 7 or 8 card cuts, as so illustrated in today's CHOD cut.
22 votes

Joined: January 2024

Saturday 9:30 AM
New here-so forgive my inexperience. I agree with MiketheExpert, felt A4 dangerous toss, but heard a voice (RAS) saying; don’t forget to flush.
Eolus619 says: Hello...The flush certainly has merit..as you gain experience you will further understand board position..this will influence what discards you make as well as whether to play offense or defense with pegging & discarding..when you can watch Ras's class on critical position zones...CPZ..start with week 7 part 02 thru week 8 part 04..all the best
MiketheExpert says: Hi Annabella...It is hard to "disagree" with the flush keep. The "5" and the "8" cuts still help your hand a lot (a dozen points or 13 if a diamond is cut), while you have a greater overall strength, and honestly, I believe this WILL be the keep which HAL chooses today. I chose to part ways because of the score-line, and perhaps because of my enhanced need to both maximize my own score while minimizing dealer's due to my extremely poor situation, I am trying to make up the most ground on 1 deal, while taking both factors into consideration. Admittedly, I have lower odds of an extremely good result, but desperate times do call for desperate measures. Some may argue it is a little too desperate at this stage...but for me, we're getting close to the point of do or die already.
Annabella says: Eolus & MiketheExpert, YES! I see and agree. Your posts are helpful. I haven’t played since I was a kid, and knew nothing of BP! …Thanks to you all, I am learning now.
Inushtuk1 says: Hi Annabella. What is BP?
Eolus619 says: Mike..think she is referring to board position..BP
5095 votes

Joined: November 2008

Saturday 10:29 AM
If choosing offense, the best keep is A-4-4-6 with 7-9 discard. Combined values favor the 7-9 discard heavily. You're not supposed to cut an 8 spot admittedly. Discarding the A-4 would be my second choice. Will lead the four from the pair although leading the Ace might be better choice retaining 4-4-6. The hand plays well in pegging game in any strategy because of the 3-card "eleven from heaven" (A-4-6).
Ras2829 says: Only starter cards of 2/3 do not add value.
Ras2829 says: Wish had thought this through a little better. With a 15-point lead dealer is not likely to pair the lead; so that would seem to suggest the Ace would be a better choice. Will defer to the cribbot on which is preferable (A or 4). Please Hal, don't tell me the 6 is the preferred lead!
MiketheExpert says: Hi Ras...This hand also has good "5-card" cut insurance (although not the 8, as you said). I did think about it, as (7 9) would not seem to be helpful to any 5 or X-card cuts. Perhaps I was overselling the importance of holding dealer back with his position already at hole 70 - the thing that prevented me was the potential danger of (7 9) for a cut such as this, as well as the number of 8-pt hands we would be left with the spread-out "combined values", though the (A-4-6) pegging combo is far superior for offense. Definitely would agree with this one at hole 65 rather than hole 55! But (4 4 6 7) does leave me with only 4 in a lot of cases, with a worse pegging situation - so it is indeed a "desperation" keep.
Ras2829 says: BTW considerable discussion yesterday as to whether 3-10 or 4-10 were the better discard choices. Based on empirical data here are the averages: 4-10 4.576 (932) 26/91 and 3-10 4.58 (1,018) 28/91. You might have noted that HalscribCLX shows that retaining the 4-7-8-9 was preferable as the hand pegs better that 3-7-8-9.
5547 votes

Joined: October 2007

Saturday 2:55 PM
I'll look at 4D-6-7-9 (A-4S), 4-4-6-7 (A-9), 4-4-6-9 (A-7) and A-4-4-6 (7-9):

4D-6-7-9: 6pts - 6pts (Schell: 5.72) = 0pt

4-4-6-7: 4pts - 4½pts (Schell: 4.55) = -½pt

4-4-6-9: 4pts - 4¾pts (Schell: 4.89) = -¾pt

A-4-4-6: 4pts - 5¼pts (Schell: 5.26) = -1¼pts


4D-6-7-9: Improves with 2222, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 = 23 cuts = 23/46 = 50.0% up to 10/12pts with 44, 5555, 666, 8888, 999 = 16 cuts. Plus 9 diamond cuts for 1pt for the flush = 9/46 = 0.20pt.

4-4-6-7: Improves with AAA, 2222, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 = 26 cuts = 26/46 = 56.5% up to 8/9/12/16pts with 44, 5555, 777, 8888 = 13 cuts.

4-4-6-9: Improves with AAA, 2222, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 999 = 22 cuts = 22/46 = 47.8% up to 8/14pts with 2222, 44, 5555, 666, 999 = 16 cuts.

A-4-4-6: Improves with AAA, 44, 5555, 666, 777, 8888, 999 + 16xXs = 38 cuts = 38/46 = 82.6% up to 8/12/14pts with AAA, 44, 5555, 666 + 16xXs = 28 cuts.


We're well behind and opponent is Dealer at 3rd street positional hole. I'll play Offense to try to catch up.


A-4-4-6 has 3 low cards and a middle card with a 3-card magic eleven so I think will peg best.


4D-6-7-9 is best for starting value by ½pt over 4-4-6-7 and 1¼pts over A-4-4-6 but A-4-4-6 has by far the most cuts for improvement and has 28 cuts for 8-14pts. Also I think it will peg best so I'll throw the 7-9.
5268 votes

Joined: February 2008

Saturday 2:55 PM
At 55-70* playing an Offense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Offense___Hand_Pegs_Crib____Total___W4 %___W5 %

Offense______L4 %___L5 %

A-4-4-6 is best for expected averages by 0.91pt. and is appreciably best for Win %s and lowest for Loss %s so I'll select 7-9 to discard.

After the 8 cut I'll lead a 4 and play Offense:

Lead___________Our Pegging Points
2959 votes

Joined: November 2014

Saturday 3:26 PM
Flush of course.
875 votes

Joined: January 2019

Sunday 12:10 AM
I wasn’t brave enough to go with the flush and toss A 4.