Yesterday's results

*** This hand was suggested by warquaker
119-118*  ?
Total votes: 237
warquakerThis is one from the Ask The Expert archive at cribbageforum. Only the originator of the problem (not included in the panel) and one panelist concurred with what I did (or rather I concurred with them). In the problem the suits were not given. I wondered what you all would do.
2680 votes

Joined: June 2013

Tuesday 3:06 AM
On the assumption that Dealer will take the first pegs (s)he can, I'll lead a 9. If paired I can triple, if "fifteened", I can pair the 6 card.
496 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 3:58 AM
This is one of the toughest hands ever posted on DCH-in these situations I like to keep a hand whereby I will peg the points I need if the dealer takes the first points available on my lead card-normally that would push me into keeping 6-9-9-k-as the 9 being the opening lead-however if the dealer plays a non scoring card on my lead,the hand is very vulnerable to holdings such as ace ace or 2-2, very likely holdings that dealer would keep needing to peg 3 in this end game scenario-therefore I willl keep ace-5-6-king and lead the king-I will lead the king and win immediately on 13 cards-3 aces,3 fives,3 sixes,and 4 fours-this hand also protects our second play,as we can sidestep any scenarios where dealer could score a 3 card run against us-I’m also taking the educated leap that a king would likely be the last card a dealer would keep in this situation,enabling us to keep the dealer 3 points away with only 3 cards remaining-under normal circumstances I would be very hesitant to hold an ace as pone here but leading the king provides some value in hiding it in my hand
158 votes

Joined: June 2020

Tuesday 4:41 AM
Leading a safe 9 is my plan
5070 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 4:58 AM
When in a situation like this I think about Dan Barlow's book on Miracles on 4th street. Premise of thought is odds on how to play lead cards and how to eek out those points needed to finish the game. Yes my thought is lead the King and if opponent has one thinks twice about pairing it. The ace lead is not as automatic as you think. Going by personal experience here also. End games to me are the difference makers on upping those win/lost percentages. dec
4458 votes

Joined: March 2008

Tuesday 5:29 AM
One of the each. Lead the 9.
772 votes

Joined: August 2018

Tuesday 5:36 AM
My thinking is the same as James and Mark.
3019 votes

Joined: October 2008

Tuesday 5:40 AM
At Hole 119 as Pone, we need Two Points, and we're able to give up Two Points in the process of trying to WIN today.

But since we were dealt no Jacks, the Dealer has an immediate 4 DIV 46 equals 0.087 or nearly a 9% shot at Two Points for His Heels (or "Nibs") with the Cut then possibly placing her or him (or it: let's cover ALL the bases!) at Hole 120, ready to POUNCE and score and WIN upon our Lead Card.

There are at least two drastically-different strategies we can employ to attempt to WIN this Endgame Battle today, and they involve either trying to PEG OUT, or trying to DEFEND and SURVIVE until First Hand Show. If we merely wish to peg out, we should probably just Toss (9 9) and retain those cards which the Dealer is most likely to have and thus allow us to PAIR and WIN. But since we must lead and play FIRST, this strategy is very committal. But it's also both easier to enact, and better if a Jack is Cut.

The other way we can WIN involves seeking to adopt a DEFENSIVE posture, keeping in mind of course that from Hole 119, any time we can score and WIN, we shall do so! I prefer this approach under circumstances in which the Dealer needs to score more than we do as Pone, so this will be my main plan today.

Therefore, unless a Jack is Cut, and unless I can WIN at any occasion, I am basically trying NOT TO LOSE! Many players do not like using this approach, so maybe: DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME!

From this arrangement of cards, I think we may wish to hold the 6 Card and both of the 9 Cards, in order to lead one of those 9 Cards, since in this manner, unless a Jack is Cut, any reply that scores upon a 9 Card Lead shall allow us to parry and WIN. This sounds like OFFENSE, and it is, but only for our lead card and potential follow-up card. After this, it's strictly DEFENSE.

The fourth and final card in our hand must be either the Ace, the 5 Card, or the King, and I tend to like these in that order. Thus, I shall Keep (6 9 9 K) and Toss (A 5) today, and after seeing the Ace Cut, I will lead a 9 Card.

I have mixed emotions about the Ace Cut: First of all, let's just be glad it was not a Jack Cut! An Ace Cut means fewer chances that the Ace we 'ditched' might have been responsible in forming a PAIR or a RUN for the Dealer who perhaps may also have had an Ace or a few dangerous "small" cards such as a Deuce and a Trey, but an Ace is a very 'High-Bias' pegging card, and so a Dealer should be likely to have retained an Ace if one was indeed dealt.

And with an Ace Cut, while the odds of the Dealer having been dealt an Ace have plummeted, the odds that the Dealer might now play an Ace if one exists in Dealer's Hand will tend to rise, since an Ace Cut also lowers the likelihood in the Dealer's mind that we would be holding an Ace as well! Little does he/she know!

Anyway, while we have "covered" our lead card with an ability to parry and score and WIN if scored upon, once that hurdle has been successfully negotiated and we cannot WIN with our second card played, now we are in PURE *defensive* pegging mode! This is where we hope our King will shine, meaning it hopefully will not be PAIRED or used to form a RUN for the Dealer. Because if we cannot score and WIN with our second card played, our primary objective is to DEFEND and score our 'First Hand Show' to WIN this game.

This is a fascinating puzzle, because while we probably do have a 50% chance of winning this game, it's a minefield of possible trouble.

Most players will probably try to peg out, and why not: we are Two Holes Away! But it's also an interesting time to use DEFENSE, since Dealer is further away from the Finish Line.
454 votes

Joined: August 2019

Tuesday 5:56 AM
I'll open with one of the 9s.
685 votes

Joined: February 2009

Tuesday 6:14 AM
Really tough end game scenario and great puzzle. I didn’t like the lone ace and thought the lone 5 might be a liability as well. Will lead a 9 which is covered as James, Mark, JQT, and others have expounded above. Very interesting analysis by Rob above as well and also interested to know what dec (Dan) decided to hold (I don’t see his choice displayed?).
1638 votes

Joined: March 2009

Tuesday 7:20 AM
I will take advantage of probably the longest response ever by Rob and employ his very thoughtful approach. His reasons for leading the King seal the the deal for me;secondly, three of the cards are widely spaced,so less vulnerability to give up a 3- card run.
1178 votes

Joined: October 2014

Tuesday 9:20 AM
The two cards most vulnerable to trapping are the 5 and the Ace--so I get rid of them.
5070 votes

Joined: April 2008

Tuesday 10:43 AM
lo behold. dec
583 votes

Joined: January 2019

Tuesday 11:21 AM
So interesting to read about what I should have thrown!
711 votes

Joined: January 2018

Tuesday 11:24 AM
Just have to keep dealer from pegging 3, and if I peg 2 all the better. I've got 2 of the 9's. So seemed clear to me to keep the 6,9,9. Only hard decision was the 4th card to keep. Looks some said A and some said K. Looking forward to the numbers.
1215 votes

Joined: May 2016

Tuesday 11:37 AM
Keep 9-9-6 for a safe lead. Ace is too trappable. It goes. 5 is too close to the 6. It goes. Can't wait for the computer rankings.
31 votes

Joined: October 2020

Tuesday 2:01 PM
This is the beautiful part of cribbage that I love, Sucker your opponent in to 15-ing, or pairing, so you can pair or triple for the win. I voted a couple of times out of interest.
4386 votes

Joined: October 2007

Tuesday 5:12 PM
We need to keep a hand which can peg as defensively as posible top stop Dealer pegging 3pts. I think the lone A could be dangerous while I think we should keep the pair of 9s. So I think the best bet will be 5-6-9-9. So I'll throw A-K.
4141 votes

Joined: February 2008

Tuesday 5:18 PM
At 119-118* playing an Optimal strategy (cautious offense) for the pegging the Dealer Peg Out %s and Our Peg Out %s are:

Optimal________Dlr Peg Out %________Our Peg Out %

A-5-6-K is very, very slightly lower than 5-6-9-9 for chances of Dealer pegging out but is almost twice as likely to peg out ourselves. All these hands will score enough provided Dealer does not peg out. So I'll select 9-9 to discard.

After the A cut I'll lead the A and play Defense:

Lead___________Dealer's Pegging Pts._______Loss %

So although with the 6 lead Dealer pegs the least the A lead has the lowest chance of losing.
200 votes

Joined: March 2020

Tuesday 5:25 PM
Am holding this to lead the 6. If they take the 15, I have a 9 back. Hopefully, can get a go or last card with the Ace.
7 votes

Joined: November 2020

Tuesday 6:13 PM
What I think what would be the best course of action is to keep the two nines and the 6 because you get 6 points. Throw in the King, Ace because you get points too easily with the 5 in the crib. Either this or K-9 because 5 and Ace make great pegging cards. If the opponent leads 6 or 9, you can 15 or pair it, you win.