Yesterday's results

*** This hand was suggested by Ras2829
81*-89  ?
Total votes: 198

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

2660 votes

Joined: October 2008

Thursday 3:03 AM
The acknowledged choice from such an arrangement is of course Toss (2 3), but in some intricate Endgame Battle Situations, we can certainly consider Toss (J Q).

This latter option gives us a nice connection to yesterday's puzzle, in which Toss (J Q) was also one of the top considerations. But can it help us here? Both Toss (2 3) and Toss (J Q) only allow us a Maximum Hand of Ten Points; and yet we KNOW which Crib should do better!

The problem today is that Pone is easily within Ten Holes of attaining Hole 96, the Fourth Street 'par' hole, and so while we are the Current Dealer, we are in trouble due to our Relative Position: Big Trouble!

Therefore, I believe we might need to consider Toss (J Q) as opposed to using the Old Standby of Toss (2 3) today. We're in trouble, and this might give us the inclination to Toss (J Q). But at Hole 81, we still may have room to "negotiate" our way forward.

When we are on the 'wrong end' of a positional struggle, it can often be tempting to deviate from what we otherwise know to be solid logic. But it is during these moments in which we must sometimes not deviate from optimum play!

Because the real question here today is probably this: Can the Keep (A 2 3 4) Hand somehow allow us to peg the additional amount of the known difference between Toss (2 3) minus the lower value of the Toss (J Q) Crib? And at best, it's unclear that it can.

In My Not-so-Humble Opinion ... It's usually better in these instances to stick to the "Tried and True" strategy and perhaps "lose by fewer points" than it is to 'stumble' and then lose by even more, in an attempt to 'pull some magic' out of thin air.

Therefore, I'm in the Toss (2 3) camp today. But this is clearly a strategy or an attempt to probably "Lose by Less" rather than to 'Pull a WIN' out of thin air.

Kudos to those who might attempt to actually WIN this thing after Toss (J Q): you have my respect, and I shall cheer you onward! But you're playing with GUTS, and I'm playing with probabilities, and so I wish you luck, because you'll probably need it!

Even after seeing the Cut, I wish I could now say which Discard Decision was better: I cannot!
1025 votes

Joined: March 2017

Thursday 3:04 AM
Like the power of the 2, 3 to my crib.
2332 votes

Joined: June 2013

Thursday 3:33 AM
I seem to remember reading on here that if one, (or both), of the X cards is a Jack, then it's better to keep A-2-3-4 and discard X-X.

I may be mistaken in that belief however, so I'll also stick with the "tried and tested" A-4-X-X (2-3).

Nice cut whichever of those two options you choose.
4705 votes

Joined: April 2008

Thursday 4:14 AM
Yes 2-3 in this particular situation. Like to see low cards or even faces involved between the cut and their discard. Prayers on offense.
Andy (muesli64)
1633 votes

Joined: August 2009

Thursday 4:42 AM
Yes 2 - 3. Pays to follow the 'rules'.
265 votes

Joined: January 2019

Thursday 4:56 AM
I wasn’t following a rule but seem to have managed to get it right!
431 votes

Joined: August 2018

Thursday 4:59 AM
Hey I’ve learned something! I would not have played it this way before frequenting this site.
646 votes

Joined: January 2017

Thursday 5:05 AM
The thing is, if I keep the run and cut an A or a 4, my hand is going up to 10 points. But with A-4-J-Q this is still true! Also if I cut a 2 or a 3, I don't get the run, but then there's a fair chance that I will get at 6 points least in my box, and I've got 4 in my hand already so there's the 10 points again already.
1425 votes

Joined: March 2016

Thursday 5:49 AM
Nothing but 2-3 for my crib today.
4101 votes

Joined: March 2008

Thursday 5:49 AM
Another roasted chestnut. Would have been more interesting if there was a flush to consider.
3119 votes

Joined: April 2011

Thursday 5:56 AM
This is a good pegger against face cards and fives. Put the four on a face card lead and then run your 3-2-A at the end.
1349 votes

Joined: March 2009

Thursday 7:25 AM
Like what DoctorWitty says. Don't think the possible pegging value of A234 makes up for the crib difference of JQ vs 23.
935 votes

Joined: May 2016

Thursday 11:36 AM
I'm in good shape position wise. Must play DEF DEF to try to keep opponent below 95. (Not likely but must try). Keep best defensive pegging hand. Keep wide is generally best. Throw 2-3 for DEF reasons.
4023 votes

Joined: October 2007

Thursday 12:25 PM
Mick Michaelis demonstrated that from A-2-3-4-X-X for Dealer often the correct discard is 2-3. But Ras has shown that A-2-3-4 pegs very well and if the X-X is close then it is the correct discard:

A-4-J-Q: 4pts + 6¾pts (Schell: 7.00) = 10¾pts

A-2-3-4: 4pts + 4¾pts (Schell: 4.81) = 8¾pts


A-4-J-Q: Improves with AAA, 444, 5555 + 14xXs = 24 cuts = 24/46 = 52.2% up to 8/9/10pts with all cuts. Plus 11 diamonds for 1pt extra for his nob = 11/46 = 0.24pt.

A-2-3-4: Improves with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 6666, 7777, 8888, 9999 + 14xXs = 46 cuts = 46/46 = 100.0% up to 7/8/10pts with AAA, 222, 333, 444, 5555, 8888, 9999 + 14xXs = 38 cuts.


We're 11pts past positional hole and Pone is 3pts past where they need to be. So I'll play Defense.


A-2-3-4 will peg better.


A-4-J-Q has a starting value 2pts better but A-2-3-4 has guaranteed improvement and 38 cuts for 7-10pts. Also it should peg much better. Will this make up the 2pts? I think it will. So I'll throw J-Q.
3798 votes

Joined: February 2008

Thursday 12:28 PM
At 81*-89 playing an Offense strategy for the pegging the dynamic expected averages and Win/Loss %s are:

Offense___Hand_Pegs_Crib_Total____W2 %___W3 %

Offense_______L2 %____L3 %

A-2-3-4 is better for expected averages by 1.02pts and is appreciably better for Win %s although A-4-J-Q is much lower for Loss %s. Even so I'll select J-Q to discard.

After the 10D cut I'll play Offense to the lead.
322 votes

Joined: April 2019

Thursday 2:42 PM
When I'm dealer in hands of the shape A-2-3-4-X-X; I've always favoured (2 3) discard, keeping A-4-X-X.

We would like to get a large combined hand/peg/crib total, to improve our relative position. After the cut, with 10 pts in hand, an average of 7 pts in crib and a few pegging pts, we may reach 20+ pts in total, bringing us to 101+ as pone next hand.
Opp may arrive at 99 as dealer next hand.

Our challenge then is to try to get 20 or (maybe less pts required) as pone, counting hand and pegging. Even if we get, say, only 15 pts, we may still win by pegging out as dealer in the following hand.

Have to peg cautiously so as not to help Opp too much.

Having said all that - it looks like Halscrib/Coeurdelion disagree with me. Such is life - some days you shouldn't get out of bed.
3561 votes

Joined: November 2008

Thursday 4:05 PM
Choice of strategy is key to this puzzle. Dealer has about 1/6.5 chances to win if choosing offense. If choosing defense, need to limit n/d to five points (4th street CPZ is 95-99). What are chances of doing so? That's 1/9.5! So it's off., off., off., play on the lead. Moving down the boards is of greater value to dealer in this situation than limiting n/d progress. This hand works this way if choosing offense because of the fine pegging potential of four cards under five in value and a discard that includes the Jack (10-J, J-Q, or J-K). Any other X-point combination does not work; in situations calling for offense. Discard the 2-3 if your X-point discards are 10-Q, 10-K, or Q-K. If choosing a defense strategy, the 2-3 discard is correct. Choice of strategy should determine what you retain/discard.