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George "Ras" Rasmussen - Tip #2

Tossing yourself 4-5 or 7-8

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At a recent cribbage tournament, I was privileged to participate in a discussion with two other players regarding the merits of the K-6 and Q-9 discard option to the opponent. One player liked the K-6, the other favored the Q-9. I should admit that my slight bias is for the K-6.

On returning home, I dug into the discarding records and discovered some interesting comparative data. Please note that I have recorded more than 1,000 discards on each of these options. The K-6 at this point has a slightly lower overall average at 4.150 followed by the Q-9 at 4.175. It should be recalled that only the K-10 and a K-9 offer discard choices which average less than 4.0.

When viewing these discards selections in broadly defined terms, they look much the same.

  7 or Fewer Points 8 or More Points
K-6 86.21% 13.79%
Q-9 88.40% 11.60%

When looking at these two discard options with greater focus. there are some distinct differences.


  0 1-2 3-7 8-11 12-15 16+
4.150 Avg 98 456 678 154 43* 0
1,428 Hands 6.9% 31.8% 47.5% 10.8% 3.0% 0.0%

* includes three 14 cribs


  0 1-2 3-7 8-11 12-15 16+
4.175 Avg 126 365 565 118 20** 0
1,194 Hands 10.6% 30.6% 47.3% 9.9% 1.7% 0.0%

**No cribs over 12 points

The Q-9 does very well on the ends of this scale. A zero crib is 65% more likely with the Q-9 while the K-6 is 175% more likely to tally 12-15 points. In addition, the Q-9 average is continuing to decline at a more rapid rate than the K-6. It appears that an additional 1,000 samples of the Q-9 will result in an average of approximately 4.087 with the K-6 following at 4.115. These averages have not stabilized at present levels.

You can be sure that either discard selection is a very good one. It appears that I need to favor the Q-9. That's hard for me to do since the last three times I discarded a Q-9, the cribs were ten, ten and eleven.

- Republished by permission. Text copyright © 2002 by George Rasmussen. All rights reserved.

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