Dan Barlow - Tip #18

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Here's a quiz for beginners and intermediate players. All of you experts can take it as well, but shame on you if you miss one.

It's early in the game and your opponent's crib. Which two cards do you toss from each of the following hands? In no case do you have four cards of the same suit.

1. A-2-2-3-3-7

2. 6-7-8-8-9-K

3. 6-7-8-8-9-10

4. A-2-2-6-7-7

5. 4-4-5-6-6-J

6. 3-6-6-6-6-9

7. A-2-3-6-8-10

8. 4-5-6-J-Q-K

9. 2-3-4-10-J-Q

10. 5-7-8-J-Q-K

Solutions

1. A-2-3-3 will prove best if the cut is a 6 or a 9, but A-2-2-3 is best if any ten-card is cut. Toss 3-7.

2. Toss 9-K, so that your hand will improve on the cut of an A or a 2.

3. Toss 6-10. An A or 2 would not improve your hand enough to outweigh the danger of tossing "touchers".

4. A-2 is not much more dangerous than A-7, and if an 8 comes up, you'll be kicking yourself if you didn't save 2-6-6-7. Toss A-2.

5. Keeping the 4s helps if the cut is an A, 2 or 7. Keeping the 6s helps if the cut is a 3 or a 9. Toss 6-J.

6. No matter what the cut, you can't score higher than by keeping the four 6s. Toss 3-9.

7. I say toss the 6-10. A-2-3-8 is guaranteed to improve with the cut. When your hand isn't worth much, don't give up something dangerous.

8. 4-5-6-J beats 5-J-Q-K only if the cut is a 4 or a 6. Toss 4-6.

9. If I had a strong preference for giving my opponent 4-Q over 10-Q, I'd do it. But I don't. So I'll keep the cards that will give me the better hand on most cuts and toss the 10-Q.

10. You wouldn't seriously consider keeping only four points? Toss 7-8 and cut a face card.

- Text copyright 2002 by Dan Barlow. All rights reserved.

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