March 21, 2023

*** This hand was suggested by Eolus619
117*-112  ?
Total votes: 287
Eolus619I lost...did not peg four points..120-121...kept 2-2-5-J
1479 votes

Joined: July 2016

Tuesday 3:55 AM
Four different cards.
1427 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 4:10 AM
Like the multiple coverages this hold brings to the table-a magic 11,a 5 and a pair of deuces for a potential 3 or 4 points
Eolus619 says: morning Rob. I .can’t remember the pegging sequence..but would you 15/2 a face lead?
mrob2199 says: Yes Bruce-the 2 most likely pone responses to that play are matching the 5 for 20 or making the count 25 with a picture-and we are well situated to deal with those plays
Eolus619 says: thx!
Inushtuk1 says: Thanks Rob. I see the error of my ways. My keep has the (20-2) covered, but not the (25). Must learn to use better logic somehow in these end game battles. And thanks for the puzzle Bruce.
3915 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 4:15 AM
9+2 = 11 and 9+5+2 = 16, but I reckon I need to get the twos in back to back at a high count.
6350 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 4:46 AM
Can we get the count up to mid to high twenties here to peg our four? dec
1393 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 4:56 AM
5 covers all face leads so will dump the 10 and J. Pair of deuces could be key at the end of pegging sequence.
5722 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 5:09 AM
Keeping 22. Not sure about the rest.
2583 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 5:22 AM
Rob covers it all for me very succintly.(The pone is 9 points out, so very well may have to keep all face-cards, hence retaining the 5).
1281 votes

Joined: December 2017

Tuesday 5:25 AM
Offense or defense? Let’s get two birds stoned at once and keep 2259. I doubt it’s much worse on defense than other keeps, in fact it could be the best of them, and it’s on top for offense imo. Its biggest defensive vulnerability is likely letting pone steal last card. But some other keeps risk low-card mischief at the end of the first play series, and that’s probably more dangerous. Yeah a deuce could be trapped. So could a five, nine, ten, or jack. It probably won’t get trapped. And I think it's harder to trap two deuces than a lone deuce.

Some people will want to dump the five under the notion that fives are dangerous for dealer. This isn’t so, imo. There are some famous pone five traps but they don’t show up that much. 95+% of the time, pone scores nothing off dealer five, unless dealer allows it (e.g. taking a fifteen and letting him pair it etc). Fives are way more dangerous for pone. And besides, we shouldn’t lock in on defense in the discard at this score.

Let's say pone leads a X. Do you fifteen it, or not? I think that's a more interesting question than the discard itself today. 9 points for pone is no sure thing at all, and if he pairs your five, that could be all he needs to go over the top. I'd probably make my decision based on whether pone's lead card works with the starter, but I'm leaning toward defense in general here, rather than desperately trying to peg 4 and just pushing the other guy forward. But I would for sure try to conserve my deuces. But even that is only a 3-point play that probably loses you last card.
horus93 says: Rob makes a good case for taking the fifteen though. If pone pairs the five, *and* has a low card to break up the deuces, he has something like 345x, or a45x, or aa5x, etc, which are less likely to count out even with the pair in the pegging, depending on the cut ofc. The hands that we actually lose against, like a xxxx double-run with nob, or 5jqk, or whatnot, we'll peg out against them if we just take the fifteen and then cash our deuces. A very Barlow situation. But the starter card would still weigh heavily with me for making this call.
MiketheExpert says: With pone 9 pts out, I won't hesitate very long to fifteen an X card lead from pone at this position.
MiketheExpert says: It is probably more accurate to say with pone 9 pts out, AND myself only 4 holes from pegging out.
3011 votes

Joined: November 2014

Tuesday 6:15 AM
Following RAS logic - 4 lowest cards have the best pegging potential. Try to pair my own 2s. James mentioned the 2-9 magic 11 and the 2-5-9 magic 16 but I don't think my opponent will be keeping 5-X-X-X or X-X-X-X.

Opponent does need 9 points (if I can math before coffee) so if I don't peg out still a chance I can count out, but not willing to bet the farm.
1114 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 7:05 AM
I agree with the people who have chosen the 4 lowest cards today. In my mind, I will be trying awfully hard to peg those 4 before pone's count.
MiketheExpert says: The 9 cut may be good news, as next to a low card lead, for which I have my responses planned, pone may decide to lead a 6 or 9 if he has one, for which I can score right away.
830 votes

Joined: April 2021

Tuesday 8:31 AM
5-9-10-J is overkill for points and probably will not peg well. I want to keep the 2s for their potential to peg. What else? I decided on the J just in case we cannot peg out and pone does not have enough points. But, I can also see the value of the 9 for the 31 potential.
4143 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 9:02 AM
As winter relinquishes its once-mighty grip on the Northern or 'Top' hemisphere (and it receives such billing, why? Because we happen to live in it! So much of our existence is self-centered!

And thoughts turn to warmer weather, budding flowers in the fields, and tanks rumbling south toward Crimea, getting superior traction . . . okay, one step at a time, I suppose!

Let's just rejoice for those who have endured this new year, this new decade, and this new millennium, thus far, having experienced the recent passing into and through the Vernal Equinox (both words too long for Wordle, sorry!) It's maybe a metaphor for today's Cribbage Puzzle!

I lay around, amidst a barrage of crumpled bits of medical bills, another rent increase contract, other detritus and tax forms, ensconced within a paper mountain in a purportedly paperless world, next to a variety of prescription pill bottles . . . some full, some empty, most at an interim state of having helped, and possibly still having the ability to help: for what more can be asked of any substance, whether it be physical or tangible, or even imaginary or embodied and thus emboldened with . . . hope. Hope tethered to action; that is good. (Am I avoiding today's puzzle?)

Hearing the reliable, first early-morning note of the Cardinal always helps soothe; it always calms and heals; it occurred promptly and predictably this morning, at 6:34 a.m., followed by idle chatter from the Chickadees (as if they existed in the bleachers, from farther afield), and then there is the pleasant activity of the various and sundry Woodpeckers: the Downy, the Red-bellied, and the "Heard But Rarely Seen" Pileated. And all the while (for this is no mere ensemble!), honking geese arriving from All Points North, bellowing and echoing across the vast, snowy meadow, like the bassoons and the French horns of an orchestra.

We are greeted by a Cribbage Puzzle from Eolus619, who admits that he "did not peg four points" and that he lost the game (120-121) "Ouch!" after Keep (2 2 5 J) and Toss (9 T); with the puzzle he has provided us under careful consideration, he is asking the group how any and all and each of us might have achieved another outcome.

Let's examine our predicament: If we can peg Four Points and do so without giving up Nine Points to our Opponent FIRST in the process, we shall secure the WIN, end of story. Since we were dealt a Jack, this means we have about a 6.5% chance of cutting a Jack, and after scoring "His Heels," that would chop our workload in HALF, and allow us to begin at Hole 119. But we know that this will NOT happen roughly 93.5% of the time, so let's not count on a Jack Cut.

Regardless of how we discard, I believe we can call the Crib a "Don't Care" in today's puzzle. Our primary and first objective is to attempt to assess whether we should try to DEFEND and perhaps allow Pone to count or tally the Hand, and in the process, prevent Pone from scoring those Nine Points needed for the WIN. However, we do know that Pone NET Total tends to be closer to Ten Points, and with approximately Two Points usually coming from the pegging, it's a crap-shoot, although not a very bad one, if we merely attempt to defend in this manner.

Conversely, if we go all-guns-blazing and try to peg out, we also must realize that the Dealer Pegging Average is close to 3.5 Points! And I don't know about you, but I despise losing Cribbage games by one-half of a point!

Luckily, regardless of what cards we are dealt, we can retain BOTH options simultaneously, and thus while trying to peg out, we can also do so opportunistically, with some finesse, and at the same time, look to prevent Pone from pegging very much.

A LOT of how we choose to act and react will be determined by the Cut Card, for if it's say a 5 Card, we shall know that this will very likely help Pone have enough points to go out with First Hand Show. That means we might be switching tactics, not just upon seeing the Cut Card, but actually after seeing each card played by Pone. Being observant is what wins such endgames.

We are also assured of being able to peg One Hole as the Dealer, unless in the rare case, Pone should somehow peg Nine Holes unopposed and go out FIRST! That should NEVER happen, so we should bank on always getting either that Last Card, or a "go," somewhere along the way.

What to do? I am drawn to those two Deuces, not just as "goal-getters" for pegging, but also as a good defensive resource, since it provides "safety in numbers." Anything we were dealt in abundance means the odds that Pone was dealt these same cards is diminished.

Also, I like the 2-9 duo as it forms a "Magic Eleven" in order to reach a Count of Thirty-One. And since the 5 Card is a powerful Pegging Card, it seems that Keep (2 2 5 9) is a natural idea for an Offensive Pegging Hand.

Some players may view the second Deuce as possibly redundant: granted, it can often SELF-PAIR, and it is indeed yet another High Value Pegging Card. But if we hold just one Deuce, we STILL "cover" the rank if a Deuce is led, and meanwhile, we can add yet another rank to "cover" more lead cards by Pone.

The problem however is that that "other" card we might hold happens to be another Ten (or "X") Card, and if this means adding the Jack into our Hand, now we're talking about trying to benefit from a card that is often a liability! This is where Cribbage gets very difficult and nuanced. We found a possible way to improve our variety by sending one Deuce into our Crib, but in doing so, we may be allowing the camel's nose (the Jack) to slide beneath the tent. If we had a better "replacement" or substitute card, I'd be all for it; but I'm afraid I will have to vote against it here.

Defensively, I still like those Deuces as previously mentioned, but in this case, perhaps Keep (2 2 9 T) makes sense. Pone needs to hold enough to go out, which means holding a Jack for possible "Nobs" will be a BIAS for Pone, and that means we should ditch the Jack.

As we predicted earlier, the most difficult matter to decide upon is not the particular Hand, but the POSTURE to adopt: Offense or Defense! I think we risk more if we lean toward defense, because Pone may have enough to WIN from the start, and then we would be beat from the start; also, we stand much less of a chance to peg out ourselves if we choose defense.

Let's look to adopt an Offensive Posture, and Keep (2 2 5 9) and Toss (T J) today.

After the 9 of Hearts Cut, we now have Four Points in our Hand, with prospects for a Crib we shall likely never look at. It's all about the pegging today. Do we PAIR a Deuce Lead? CERTAINLY! Do we PAIR a 5 Card Lead? Ah, now we're getting into the tough territory! I think I might, but in a "live" game, I'd want to see if Pone's hand was trembling when it was played!

Pegging Four Holes against a Defense-Minded Opponent is NOT an easy task. But in many instances, Pone will need to peg a few holes, so it is here where our opportunity presents itself.

It's a bit lengthy (I'm not joking!) to cover all of the possible plays and contingencies, but generally, I would play aggressively in this Relative Position. Four Points can be an eternity, but it can come as early as half way through the pegging as well. And PEGGING is our only friend and ally today. But I've rambled on quite enough already today (this is me in the midst of a several-days episode of nasty neuralgia; a familiar occurrence, as the air pressure darts up and down like fairgoers on a carousel, wreaking havoc with any attempt at having a normal day, during these seasonal changes). I hope you enjoyed the ride!

We'd REALLY like to score upon Pone's Lead Card, and perhaps surprisingly, this is possible after Pone might lead Twenty-Five Cards (22, 555, 6666, 99, TTT, JJJ, QQQQ, KKKK), or more than HALF (55% in fact) of the remaining deck! Be optimistic, and PLAY TO WIN!
JQT says: Let's imagine Pone gets what seems like "The Dream" and has Keep (A A 2 3) and Toss (8 8). Cribbage is very strange sometimes! The pegging might proceed as follows: Pone leads a Deuce, because why not?! We have little choice now and so we PAIR it. If Pone has the Case Deuce, we're sunk. But we are in luck, because Pone is now thinking. Pone decides to respond with the Trey, for a Count of Seven. Now, what shall we do? It looks like our 9 Card has found some meaning in life, and we're ready to play it, but WAIT! If we play our remaining Deuce, now Pone can score on 'either side' of an open-ended sequence; but if Pone plays an Ace, the Count will be Ten, and our 5 Card brings home the VICTORY! Also, if Pone plays a 4 Card, that very same 5 Card of ours 'snags' a VICTORY. Notice a few things here: Pone's Hand seems a bit awkward, but at Hole 112, Pone is likely FORCED to retain maximal points. Needing to "cover" Nine Holes, this means we should expect a lot of (5 5 X ?), (5 X X ?), or especially a Double Run! Pone might be attempting to avoid any pegging, but may also be forced into making some percentage-plays, or "least-bad-options." This little pegging sortie illustrates some of the pressure our Opponent could be facing today, and it shows a few ways we might look to exploit it. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and think we are fighting an uphill battle, but we can never know how bad things are across that table! Remaining confident never hurts, and it is a good way to give our Opponent ample opportunity to mess up!
JQT says: One more example before I imbibe in a pot of Ceylon Tea: Pone is "Living the Dream" again and has Keep (2 3 5 Q) and Toss (8 K), and a 6 Card is Cut! Pegging proceeds: Q (10) 9! (19) 5 (24) 5 (29=2) 2 (31-2), 2 (2) 3 (5) 2 (7=1), and when all is said and done, we find ourselves stuck in Hole 120. But hold on: Pone only has Four Points, and thus can only 'stumble' toward Hole 118! Our Hand of Six Points now rules the day, and we can call it a VICTORY, never needing to look at the Crib (good thing; it contains ZERO POINTS!). These days, it's called Sri Lanka, but the tea is feeling nostalgic. We'll drink it anyway! ☕
Eolus619 says: JQT...would you pair a 9 lead?
JQT says: I would PAIR (or maybe even marry, sight unseen) a 9 Card Lead! I'm excited just thinking about it!
Eolus619 says: Yikes..maybe even double yikes
JQT says: After a 9 Card Cut, and with Pone needing Nine Points to WIN prior to the Cut, if Pone not only has a 9 Card, but leads it, that indicates Pone holds something like (8 9 T T), (9 T T J), (A 5 9 X), (5 9 T J), etc. I think a Deuce would be unlikely, unless maybe (2 6 7 9). We have to keep in mind that Pone had every incentive to 'cover' those Nine Holes prior to seeing the Cut Card. Even if Pone holds BOTH of the remaining 9 Cards, Pone would then need a Deuce or a PAIR of Aces to peg out after a PAIRS Royal in 9 Cards. In many cases, if that were so, Pone would have probably led a Small Card. Leading a 9 Card strongly indicates a RUN with the 9 Card in it, and maybe a Double Run. Once we PAIR a 9 Card, we have not only scored and moved HALF WAY toward VICTORY with our First Card Played, but we've done so with our Weakest Pegging Card! As long as Pone is forced to lead again, our 5 Card can then score and carry us over the Finish Line after more than half the remaining cards in the deck, cards that Pone would likely be holding. Double Date a Deuce; Go Out with a 5 Card; but Marry a 9 Card!
JQT says: One Last Hurrah: Pone is "Riding That Dream" one more time today (and it is LATE in the day; is anybody even reading this?), and has Keep (3 3 4 8) and Toss (6 7), and a 7 Card is Cut. Now, pay attention; this is rather stunning! Pegging proceeds: 3 (3) 5 (8) 8 (16) 9 (25) 4 (29) 2 (31=2), 3 (3) 2 (5=1), and once again, when all is said and done (and we all know that more is always said than done), we find ourselves stuck in Hole 120. But wait one wonderful moment! Pone didn't peg SQUAT! Pone has Eight Points in Hand, even after a 7 Card Cut, but wouldn't you know it, Pone NEEDS NINE POINTS! And Nine Points is a LOT. This time, Pone also makes it all the way to Hole 120, but First Hand Show is now OVER. Our Hand of Two Points may seem rather insignificant and paltry, but from Hole 120, all we need is HALF THAT MUCH! And so, we can call it a VICTORY, never needing to look at the Crib (but just in case, it does contain Three Points). Lesson: We never know exactly what obstacles or pressures 'the other person' across the table from us is dealing with in Cribbage (and in Life). 🪔
1334 votes

Joined: June 2020

Tuesday 9:22 AM
AsI said up top..I kept the J thinking, erroneously[!], that Pone would possibly keep one and I could it turns out my held J is actually a liability. Lesson learned. I got good choice distribution among the overall voters..BUT the seasoned players not so. Thx to all for your insight.
5145 votes

Joined: November 2008

Tuesday 9:36 AM
The late, great DeLynn Colvert told me in a few of the years that I played the Montana State Championship which he directed so effortlessly that "here is the key to pegging". If this is all you know about pegging it will put many games in the win column for you. A, 2, 3, 4, 5 have high pegging value; 6-7-8-9 have moderate pegging value, Jack has low pegging values, 10-Q-K have none. Retain cards when available based on those values. By retaining the 2-2-5-9 dealer has gained two other advantages (2-card "eleven from heaven") and a "sweet sixteen". With dealer needing four to win, peg values were my only consideration. If one focuses on the pegging game which is non-existent with most players, you'll stand out in a crowd. A strong pegger will average more than 26 pegs per game. That's far more than can be realized on average from crib scores. Half the players are adept at avoiding pegs; about 25% have a true offensive pegging plan among tournament players. At the "kitchen player" level, pegs are purely accidental. Develop a pegging plan and refine it; Once done, I'll read of your success on the front cover of Cribbage World magazine. Great puzzle Eolus619!
Eolus619 says: Thx Ras..twice..1]your insight to pegging and 2] your gracious comment on my puzzle submission
JQT says: It's great to see a full and quite meaningful post from you on this first full day of spring, RAS! If we cannot be correct, let us at least concur and be together in good spirits with our similar choice on our best attempt at a very challenging puzzle. 🦅 🌐 ⚓
Ras2829 says: Hi JQT: Have not commented much here as very difficult for me to follow the cursor or to see clearly even when magnified. Am in a full-time fog. Have no vision in right eye and somewhat limited in left. Have had 11 medical appointments since January 17, two eye surgeries, and have six more medicals scheduled between now and April 5. Am having a third eye surgery on 3/29. The surgical procedure is called pars plana vitrectomy. Have had wonderful medical care and surgeon has met with me week prior, day after, and week following in each case. Right retinal surgery gives me a 95% chance for restored vision in right eye. Rapidly approaching 86, my age is the major risk. Have no pain, am not sick, am not easily stressed. Also have none of the age-related vision problems (high eye pressure, macular degeneration, or glaucoma). Life is a treasure, and it has been exceedingly good to me. Just to demonstrate how little I am stressed, the last surgery was stopped after 27 minutes on 3/13 when the surgeon said: "Am so sorry, It is just too dangerous to proceed. Am sorry that I've hurt you or stressed you." I said you've done neither - had no pain and am not stressed. They took my blood pressure immediately after the surgery - was 110/52. Inch by inch, it's a cinch. If you are dealing with vision problems, you might like to e-mail I'll share what I've learned over the past three months.
JQT says: Keep us posted, RAS; I understand it's been a challenging process. Your positive attitude should increase those odds of a positive outcome -- let it be so! Other than an enormous amount of astigmatism, I've only had a few issues with vision, namely corneal erosion. What shocked me is how, on its own, the body seems to really want to heal and recover, so that is the very limited experience I can relate to you and others. Some days when it's really difficult, things improve even later that same day! Please continue to update us, either here or via email or both. The Daily Cribbage Hand is a special place where you are recognized, welcomed, and respected in what we might refer to as the Hand of the Day Hall of Fame. All of us continue to learn a lot from you!
5589 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 2:35 PM
I'll try to prevent Pone from pegging any points and hope we can safely peg 4pts. So I'll try 2-2-5-9 which keeps the low cards and a magic eleven.
5312 votes

Joined: February 2008

Tuesday 2:46 PM
At 117*-112 playing an Optimal strategy for the pegging the Our Peg Out %s and Pone Peg Out %s are:

Optimal___________Our Peg Out %______Pone Peg Out %

2-2-5-9 has very much the best chance of Our Pegging Out so I'll select 10-J to discard.

After the 9 cut I'll play Defense to the lead.
JQT says: I wonder if "Defense to the Lead" is the program's clever way of saying that it *might* respond to an "X" Card Lead with the 9 Card! Needing to peg Four Holes, I believe that this is the best plan, but it takes lots of temerity to forgo the immediate (15=2)!
MiketheExpert says: I couldn't do it :)
Ras2829 says: With n/d 9 holes out, will play on the lead. Will take the first two that show up needing four. If needed three pegs to win, might pass up the opening lead.