November 8, 2019

*** This hand was suggested by hillchem
99-89*  ?
Total votes: 178

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

1598 votes

Joined: March 2016

Friday 3:24 AM
We're ahead of dealer on the board so let's not give him any help. With the starter, we have 10 points. Strategy is defense or at least optimal, taking safe pegs.
2843 votes

Joined: October 2008

Friday 3:25 AM
Both Toss (6 J) and Toss (8 J) should be very defensive, and either should be okay.

Not sure whether to lead the 8s or 5s as I am afraid of a 7 Card response to an 8 Card lead.

I guess I'll lead the 5s and hope for the best.
4886 votes

Joined: April 2008

Friday 3:29 AM
One of the reasons did not keep the pairs. Lead the eight dump the five next play. I think we are looking good here. dec
342 votes

Joined: February 2009

Friday 3:55 AM
We are already in great position here-no cut is going to put us out so it’s 100 percent defense here with dealer 32 out-we have to be very careful with the pegging here-I would lead the 5 and play off everything after that-the 6 or 8 lead could get ugly if the 6 were matched or the 8 was fifteened-we can afford to give up 3 to 4 pegs here but not 7 or 8-the crib looks pretty safe with the 8-jK combo going
2506 votes

Joined: June 2013

Friday 4:01 AM
Already ahead of my par hole, so more concerned with how many points the Dealer scores than how many I score. I agree with Rosemarie about making an unhelpful discard, but J-8 seems a lot less helpful than 6-8.

5c lead.
552 votes

Joined: February 2009

Friday 4:53 AM
Already in good position so like the defensive throw of 6-J. Might be a good time to lead a 5 here to stay out of major pegging trouble if the 8 lead is 15d.
1613 votes

Joined: November 2014

Friday 5:03 AM
Defence all the way
600 votes

Joined: August 2018

Friday 5:13 AM
Compromised btw defense and offense.
880 votes

Joined: June 2016

Friday 6:41 AM
This is not one of the best hands for pegging, so it clearly calls for defense. The 6-J was the most defensive toss especially with half of the 5's and 8's out of the reach of the discarded 6c.

The 5's could definitely pose some problems during the play of the hand, so I will throw caution to the wind and lead one of them. If the dealer doesn't drop an X card it can be somewhat revealing to his strategy.
1669 votes

Joined: April 2015

Friday 8:06 AM
This is my best recollection of a game from grassroots that was ripped from my win column by a perfect storm of an unfortunate deal, cut, and pegging right here.

My memory is slightly fuzzy around every single detail, but I think these were the cards that were dealt and the score was roughly what is shown.

If I remember correctly, I started with a 5 to try to avoid getting myself stuck. Unfortunately, dealer had something like 5-8-9-10. By the time he pegged his 7 points, he was already close to position.

The cut was a 9 or a 10, and although the crib was not huge, he managed to win on my deal.

I really wish I had written this one down because some of this might be inaccurate. All I know is that as, mrob and JRCeagle are concerned about, the pegging did go sideways, contributing to a loss.
590 votes

Joined: January 2018

Friday 8:37 AM
Bird hand without putting anything in the dealer's bush.
375 votes

Joined: April 2019

Friday 8:38 AM
At 99-89* we want 22 pts to go out. This means at least 6+ pts needed this hand. This will leave us needing 16 or fewer pts next hand when we are dealer.

For me I therefore hold J-5-5(guaranteed 6 pts, possibly up to 12 or 13). For me, the discard choice becomes either discarding (8 8) or (6 8)

(8 8) - about 6.4 pts on average in Opp. crib
(6 8) - about 6.8 pts on average.

The "safe" (J 8) averages about 4.7 pts in Opp. crib. About 1.7 pts less than (6 8), but starts with only holding 2 pts, instead of 6.

Some, I think, will disagree with me, but that 1.7 pts is not enough to convince me to hold 5-5-6-8.

I go for 5-5-8-J(6 8)

We're in good position. Play defensively. Lead a 5, avoid pairing and runs.
264 votes

Joined: August 2019

Friday 10:41 AM
With all 4 of the 7s and all 4 of the 9s still in the deck, I can't see tossing 6-8. I'm guaranteed 4 and have a really good chance of cutting an X for 8pts. After that, I'm statistically in very good shape.
4284 votes

Joined: March 2008

Friday 11:03 AM
trying to give the dealer a bagel.
2977 votes

Joined: October 2007

Friday 12:20 PM
Feel the 6/8 no saver than pair of 8's. Bite the bullet and take what I can get.
1090 votes

Joined: May 2016

Friday 1:52 PM
This seemed safest to me. Lead a five.
4204 votes

Joined: October 2007

Friday 2:02 PM
I think the Defensive throw will be 6-J and 6-8 and 8-8 for Offense throws.

5-5-8-8: 4pts - 4½pts (Schell: 4.57) = -½pt

5-5-8-J: 6pts - 5½pts (Schell: 5.86) = +½pt

5-5-6-J: 6pts - 6¾pts (Schell: 6.82) = -¾pt


5-5-8-8: Improves with 2222, 55, 7777, 88 + 15xXs = 27 cuts = 58.7% up to 8/10/12pts with all cuts.

5-5-8-J: Improves with 2222, 55, 7777, 88 + 15xXs = 27 cuts = 27/46 = 58.7% up to 10/12/14pts with 2222, 55 + 15xXs = 21 cuts. Plus 12 hearts for 1pt extra for his nob = 12/46 = 0.26pt.

5-5-6-J: Improves with 4444, 55, 666, 7777, 9999 + 15xXs = 32 cuts = 32/46 = 69.6% up to 10/12/14/16pts with 4444, 55, 7777 + 15xXs = 25 cuts. Plus 12 hearts for 1pt extra for his nob = 12/46 = 0.26pt.


We're already 3pts past positional hole and ahead so can play Safe.


Playing Defense I think 5-5-8-8 will peg best.


5-5-8-J has the best starting value has a reasonable number of cuts for improvement and 21 for 10-14pts. Also it has the benefit of the nob potential and there will be some negative delta as we hold another 8. 5-5-6-J has more cuts for improvement and a better maximum with 25 cuts for 10-16pts but it starts with 1¼pts less so I'll throw 6-8D.
3973 votes

Joined: February 2008

Friday 2:04 PM
At 99-89* playing a Defense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Defense___Hand__Pegs____Crib___Total___W1 %___W2 %

Defense______L1 %____L2 %

5-5-8-J is best for expected averages by 0.29pt and although 5-5-6-J is slightly better for Win %s it is appreciably worse for Loss %s. 5-5-6-8 is 2.07pts lower for expected averages but has good Win %s and low Loss %s. But even so I'll select 6-8 to discard.

After the K cut I'll lead the J and play Defense:

Lead_________Dealer's Pegging Pts.
375 votes

Joined: April 2019

Friday 4:36 PM
I originally went with the (6 8) discard. James and JQT talked me into thinking that the (6 J) discard is better, seeing that we have 3 counts to see us over the finish line.

Both computer programs say (6 8) is the best discard.

James and JQT - do you still stick with the (J 6) discard?
375 votes

Joined: April 2019

Friday 4:53 PM
Today's 6-game report.

I only won 3 games today. Lost 3. But I didn't lose by terribly much.

In order, my 6 scores were 115,119,121,119,121 and 121. Total = 716 out of 726 possible.

I came second. First was a perfect 726. So my win rate drops slightly, but my "podium finish" rate(in top 3) increases a bit.

That first game - where I scored 115 - I got there following the positional play discussed on this site. My Opp.(Molly) was getting fantastic 12, and 14-pt hands pretty consistently and had quite a lead. I just kept playing according to the target holes. At the end it was 99-111*. I kept the largest hand I could manage(A-2-3-3, good peggers) and the cut was an X-value. I pegged 4 pts and scored the 12 from my hand to reach 115.

22 players today.

So - for both of the 1st 2 Fridays in Nov, I reached 2nd place, with 22-24 players. Not unhappy with that.

The way they determine winners, you can lose games, but provided you don't lose them by too much, you can still get into the top 3.
27 votes

Joined: October 2019

Saturday 1:39 AM
I went 5-5-8-8 which is perhaps too conservative skimming through the other comments.