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John Chambers - Tip #6

Average scoring

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The next several articles will examine Board Strategy in relation to point averages in each phase of the game. It is designed to increase a poor player's winning percentage and assist the experienced player in making troublesome decisions. It is based on averages in the Play, Hand, and Crib of both the dealer and nondealer.


  Nondealer Dealer
Play 2.0 3.5
Hand 8.1 8.0
Crib   4.7
Total 10.1 16.2

In this formula the average for all five parts, Nondealer's Play, Nondealer's Hand, Dealer's Play, Dealer's Hand and Dealer's Crib, is approximately 26 holes.

As you peg around the board remember your three counts, start to finish.

The above averages help to determine positional holes which help to determine the strategy needed in various situations. Positional holes are specific holes on the board which will determine how you discard and whether you play on or off depending on where your opponent is in relation to these holes and your position. Remember to determine your three counts in getting to each positional hole. This will help keep your mind on the game and make you aware of the strategy needed.

The five positional holes are 121, 96, 70, 44 and 18. The dealer's and nondealer's point total in the Play, Hand, and Crib averages out to slightly over 26 points. This slight overage works out to almost a point per game. This will be taken into consideration at the end of the game by moving the last positional hole one point closer to home, or 25 holes. Twenty-five holes from the 121st hole is 96. The next three positional holes will be 26 holes from each other or hole 70, hole 44, and hole 18.

The object of these positional holes is to get to each of them before your opponent. If you do not, you will have to determine the strategy needed to slow down your opponent.

Average Charts

The following chart shows the different parts of the game and the average points gained in each part on each street.

  1st St 2nd St 3rd St 4th St Avg
Dealer's Play 3.57 3.42 3.35 3.41 3.45
Dealer's Hand 7.94 8.32 7.62 7.99 7.96
Crib 4.50 4.87 4.71 4.50 4.66
Nondealer's Play 2.07 2.04 1.92 2.10 2.03
Nondealer's Hand 8.18 8.29 8.05 8.00 8.14

The two charts below may prove not only interesting, but helpful in determining your strategy.

The following chart shows the percent of points for each part of the game on each street.

  1st St 2nd St 3rd St 4th St
Dealer's Play 15.39 12.66 13.24 12.70
Dealer's Hand 30.85 31.24 29.57 26.84
Crib 13.72 18.01 18.73 18.15
Nondealer's Play 8.47 7.42 7.45 9.02
Nondealer's Hand 31.57 30.66 31.01 33.28

The following chart shows the percent of hands (for Cribs, regular hands, and all hands, including Cribs) for various point totals.

Points Cribs Non-Cribs All
0 8.6 0.5 3.2
1-3 27.5 7.5 14.0
4-6 41.3 30.2 33.8
7-9 15.4 32.1 26.7
10-12 5.4 19.9 15.3
13-15 0.4 4.1 2.9
16-18 1.1 4.3 3.3
20-24 0.2 1.4 1.0

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

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