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John Chambers - Tip #10

Second Street, part 1

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Second Street consists of the next thirty holes (31-60). If you don't make it past hole 60 by the time your opponent has gone out (hole 121) you have been double-skunked. If you are playing for stakes, a double skunk is worth three times the stakes.

The goal for Second Street is to be around hole 44 on your deal with your opponent behind you.

Your Deal, You are Ahead by Six

Good or Excellent Hand: You are at hole 44 and six holes ahead of your opponent. You should play off. You are at your positional hole with three counts to get to the next one (hole 70). You are holding an above average hand which means your Crib and next Hand won't have to be as large. By playing defensively you won't be giving your opponent extra points that may help him stay close. You have the advantage now. Keep your advantage as large as possible. However, depending on how large a hand you have and how good the discard you made was, you may want to play on to make sure you get far enough up Third Street for your next three counts. Let's examine a couple situations regarding different sized hands. In both these situations you will need to know the game averages and what can be expected.

In the first situation, you have a sixteen hand and you threw a 6-7 to your crib. Without pegging, you know that your hand will get you to hole sixty. You expect that you will get four points between your pegging and your Crib. As the nondealer, you will only need six points in your next hand to get into average position. In this situation you don't need to peg. Pegging at this point will only help you opponent.

In the second situation, the circumstances are the same. The only difference is that this time you are holding a twelve hand. You also know that your Crib may not be that good since you discarded a K-9 to your Crib. You can't expect too much from your Crib. As in the above example, you realize before play starts that your hand alone will get you to hole 56.

If you do get four points between your pegging and the Crib, you will be at hole sixty. As the nondealer, next hand you will need at least an average hand and play to get you to average position at hole 70. It is suggested that with your opponent not on Third Street you take a chance and peg this time. By doing this, it will give you a cushion of a few extra points. It will also allow you the opportunity to lessen the amount of points you will need as the nondealer, so you won't have to take any chances to get into position.

Poor or Average Hand: You are again at hole 44 and six holes ahead. In this situation you should play on. Remember, your positional hole is 70. The further you are from it after these three counts the tougher it will be to get into position on Fourth Street. You will need to peg a few extra, so play on. If you can peg a few to make up for your hand, and you can get an average crib and an average hand, next time you'll get your desired position. With this in mind it will mean your opponent will need 32 holes on this hand. This is highly unlikely so peg the few extra holes you may need.

Opponent's Deal, You are Ahead by Six

Good or Excellent Hand: You are at hole 44 and six holes ahead of your opponent. In this situation you would play off. You will be in excellent position after you count your hand. However, your opponent only needs six holes above average in his three counts to get his desired position. Don't let your opponent get it. Let your hand be effective and help you get the position you want. Don't help your opponent get into position. Sometimes if a player makes a bad judgment in pegging under such circumstances a player may be heard to say "look at that, I get a sixteen and it doesn't mean anything. He's still keeping up with me."

Poor or Average Hand: Listen, you are still in position. You are at hole 44 with this hand to count. Your opponent needs to get six points above average in the next three counts. If you can hold down his pegging and your opponent gets one below average count between the hand and the crib, it will make getting to his next positional hole (70) even tougher.

- Republished from Cribbage: A New Concept by permission. Text copyright © 2002 by John Chambers. All rights reserved.

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