September 10, 2019

*** This hand was suggested by dec
38-46*  ?
Total votes: 198

Play this scenario out against a robot designed by Hal Mueller for

1542 votes

Joined: March 2016

Tuesday 3:25 AM
Best for expected averages is the double run. To offset the 5-6 to opponent's crib, we have two fives, a six, and and a 4 card.
380 votes

Joined: January 2019

Tuesday 3:27 AM
its Almost impossible not to give dealer points, I tried to minimise that whilst keeping the most points possible in my hand. It’ll be interesting to see what more experienced players decide to do.
4824 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 3:46 AM
I will go with the long time rule with this hand keep at least a dozen. I was thinking of internet sites that seem to have a propencity ( JQT language ) to deal out fives on a regular basis. Short of end game with relative positions I would have to believe this is a valid keep on a best guess. Lead is a six for me, another internet tendencies by sites a four seems to paired often. dec
282 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 4:08 AM
Have to keep the set 12 and give up the 5-6 here-lead the 4 and hope it’s not matched-dump one of the fives on the next play-maybe we can goad the dealer into matching it
2779 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 4:26 AM
Let's do some housekeeping first, and then attack this puzzle:

Hopefully, JCM saw my "after midnight" reply to his Pegging Dilemma from yesterday: about when, for example at a Count of Twenty-Four and holding (3 3 7), whether to play the 7 Card and grab the sure-thing (31-2), or whether to attempt to heroically self-pair here by playing a Trey instead. My answer went something like: "When in Doubt ... Push that Count (higher). When in Trouble ... Attempt that Double (try PAIRING yourself if you NEED the points)." These could be great little titles for Cribbage-related Songs, folks: And I'm just giving it all away!

Okay, today is a very good example of what I posted even later yesterday under the HalscribCLX entry, about how the computer program looks at both reality as opposed to probability: After all, due to the random nature of the behavior of the cards, Cribbage is essentially a probabilistic enterprise.

And so in an Endgame Scenario, Toss (4 6) might become imperative at some point, but at a score of (38-46*), the probabilities of how this game *might* end up will and should be overruled by REALITY, and so at this early score, we must shoot for the highest Expected Average in order to eventually put ourselves in POSITION to then use our knowledge of probabilities to help us WIN. Even if the weather forecast says "75% chance of rain," it's best to look out the window if we are about to venture outside.

Therefore, as the Canadian Country Rock group known as The Road Hammers once aptly sang, we want to "Get On Down That Road" and Toss (5 6) today! Ref:
4218 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 4:47 AM
There is no safe discard. I'll toss 5-6 and pray the crib doesnt explode on me. Lead the 4 and ditch the 5s.
493 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 5:30 AM
Keeping the dozen. Dealer is already in position and we need to be aggressive here I think to get position back in our favor. If we do not hold the double run we lose out with cuts like A, 3, 6, 9. Keeps the 24 hand chance intact too. Will lead a 4 and look to dump the 5d on the next play if possible.
2443 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 5:38 AM
Eight points puts me in a good place to start the next hand, and twenty cuts, (444,5, 16*X), really propel me down the board.

4-6 with three fives and another six out of circulation may not be too devastating.

One of each suit just because.

5 lead to allow me a choice what to play as my 2nd card.
Andy (muesli64)
1706 votes

Joined: August 2009

Tuesday 6:24 AM
5-6 but I am guessing really.

1423 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 7:06 AM
We're out of position, have to try make it up with a possible 24 hand.
685 votes

Joined: December 2017

Tuesday 7:53 AM
It's too early in the game to forego the double run imo.
375 votes

Joined: April 2019

Tuesday 8:00 AM
Dealer is where he wants to be(Past the 44 target). Opp. averages 16 pts as dealer. So we can expect him to be at 46+16 = 62 next hand, when he starts as pone.

We are 8pts behind target. We can reach it easily at the end of this hand, but Opp should be at 62 at the end of this hand. That's 18 more pts than the 44 target.

We want to catch up as much as we can AND slow him down in his crib.

How many pts to catch up is suitable? I would like others' comments on this question. I think the answer is subjective, at least partly so. Should be a good discussion. Besides, I'm not 100% sure what the answer is, so helpful advice would be appreciated :-)

Going only for 44 this hand is obviously too low a target.

A. Maybe reaching reaching 62? (Tied with Opp.) We would need 24 pts to do that. Possible if we keep 4-5-5-6(5-6) and cut a 4 or 6(5/46 ways). But 5/46 isn't very good odds. Sixteen X values will make this hand worth 16. A 3 or a 7 makes the hand worth 14. But that's a long way from the 24 we want in this option. And the 5-6 discard averages 6.7 in Opp. crib - about 3 pts above average for a crib. This will likely help him reach more than his average 16 pts as dealer this hand, which should put him past 62 pts. Maybe about 65-66. Close to his next target(70).

B. How about aiming for 52? That suggests keeping one or other versions of 5-5-5-6(4-6). 52 is way lower than 62 - that's for sure. BUT, we only need 14pts with 52 in mind, and any X will produce it. 16/46 ways. Plus the 3 fours which will make this hand worth 21. 19/46 ways in all. Another 6 or a 9 adds a couple of pts. That's better odds than A by a long way. And the 4-6 discard averages 5.1 in Ras' table. That number should be reduced by about 2 pts, given we hold 3 of the 4 fives, which is the card that promotes this discard. So Opp crib should only be worth about 3 pts. Below the expected 4 pt. average for a crib.

But if we aim for this, we may expect the score at the end of this hand to be 52*-62. Is this OK?

We would then be in good shape to reach the next target of 70 next cycle(26/cycle puts us at 78). We would need to peg cautiously, so as not to assist dealer too much. Bur we could accept it if at the end of next cycle if dealer were at 85 or less. (Reasoning: Pone averages 10 pts. The next target after 70 is 96. 96-10 = 86. So if Opp is less than 86 at end of next cycle, and we're at 78 as dealer, we're in good shape to win.)

For Opp to be less than 86 at end of next cycle he must make less than 24 pts that cycle(86-62). That's average or a bit below average. So with this plan, we peg cautiously thru the whole cycle, so as not to help him exceed 24 pts.

That's about the best I can come up with, this morning, before coffee.

I go for B. That's 5-5-5-6(4-6).

Pegging: I only like to lead a 5 when I have 2 or more X values that I might pair when he 15's me. A hand like 5-5-J-K. I don't have those X values here. So I would lead the 6. and peg cautiously thru the next cycle. Unless I get a powerhouse hand :-)
72 votes

Joined: July 2012

Tuesday 10:16 AM
II considered breaking up the hand and holding 5556. We would be in position for our next deal, but at this point in the game we need to optimize hands. Breaking up a bushel isn’t the way to do that.
One caveat. I would break the hand up in this spot if I thought there was a large disparity in skill level between me and my opponent. Unfortunately, I’m never on the right end of that disparity. :-)
375 votes

Joined: April 2019

Tuesday 12:51 PM
Re score at end of this hand: If we keep A. we may expect the score at start of next hand to be perhaps 53*-67. If we keep B we can expect it to be 52*-64. I prefer the latter score. It keeps Opp further from his target, and we maintain a realistic chance of being in position to win at end of next cycle.
3674 votes

Joined: November 2008

Tuesday 2:34 PM
As should be the case, relative position makes this an easy decision. Dealer is at hole 46 with the deck. Needs to be dealing from 2nd street CPZ (43-47). So holding less than 12 points is not an option. And we have a chance to cut a 24-point hand besides. The fact 5-6 is a dangerous discard does not matter. The 4-5 discard is about .3 of a points less on average. Why give up four points in hand score to save .3? Lead the 4, dealer response just might be a X-pointer, n/d drops the 5D faking a flush, dealer will often pair that five for count of 24, n/d scores the triple for six, advances the count to 29, and a frequent go. If you would like to know more about Critical Position Zones E-mail
4139 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 3:12 PM
I think its between 4-5-5-6 (5-6) and 5-5-5-6 (4-6):

4-5-5-6: 12pts - 7½pts (Schell: 7.47) = 4½pts

5-5-5-6: 8pts - 5½pts (Schell: 5.34) = 2½pts


4-5-5-6: Improves with AAAA, 3333, 444, 5, 66, 7777, 9999 + 16xXs = 38 cuts = 38/46 = 82.6% up to 16/23/24pts with 444, 5, 66 + 16xXs = 22 cuts.

5-5-5-6: Improves with 444, 5, 66, 7777, 9999 + 16xXs = 30 cuts = 30/46 = 65.2% up to 14/17/20/23pts with 444, 5, 7777 + 16xXs = 24 cuts.


Dealer is 2pts past positional hole and we're way behind the 60pt position we'd like to be in. So we need the big hand that we have potential for. I'll play Offense.


I think 4-5-5-6 will peg slightly better.


4-5-5-6 starts with 2pts more and has more cuts for improvement. It has slightly less cuts for a very good/brilliant hand but with 22 cuts for 16-24pts I think this will be better than 24 cuts for 14-23pts. So I'll throw 5-6H despite the sizable negative delta of the 4-6.
3909 votes

Joined: February 2008

Tuesday 3:16 PM

At 38-46* playing an Offense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Offense___Hand__Pegs__Crib___Total____W5 %___W6 %
5-5-5-6___12.37+0.91+(-4.02)= 9.26____5.7____17.3

Offense_______L5 %___L6 %

4-5-5-6 is better for expected averages by 0.74pt and is also appreciably better for Win %s. The 4-6 discard is very much better for Loss %s but even so adopting an Offense strategy I'll select an unsuited 5-6 to discard.

After the 3 cut I'll lead a 5 and play Offense:

Lead______Our Pegging Pts.
375 votes

Joined: April 2019

Tuesday 3:26 PM
Looks like this is a learning day for me. Thanks, guys! When behind like this, I've always planned for the next cycle like I described in my original post. It's worked quite well for me.

Maybe I can still plan in a similar way using this discard instead.