John Chambers - Tip #14

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Fourth Street consists of the next thirty holes (91-120). The Game Hole is the 121st hole. It is not considered part of Fourth Street. The best position on Fourth Street is to be at least to hole 96, twenty-five holes from home and it is your deal. Optimal position would also have your opponent behind you. More strategy is used on Fourth Street than on any other street.

If you are in good position, don't pair! Six points gained by your opponent could cost you the game.

Your Deal, Just Around the Corner on Fourth Street

Good or Excellent Hand: You are both at hole 92. It's your deal. You are holding a twelve hand. You've got to make your three counts, starting now, work for you. With this Hand (twelve), an average Play (three) and an average Crib (four), you will get to around hole 111. Not bad, but even getting a ten point hand can be difficult at the end of a game. Play on! You can peg a few needed holes while it is doubtful that your opponent can even come close.

Poor or Average Hand: You are, again, both at hole 92. You have a six hand. Remember, you have the Crib. With a six hand, an average Play (three) and an average Crib (four) you will reach hole 105. Sixteen holes from going out. Therefore, you will have to play on to lessen the amount needed for going out in your next hand. Don't worry about your opponent, he needs 29 holes to go out. Not very likely.

Opponent's Deal, Just Around the Corner on Fourth Street

Good or Excellent Hand: Play off unless you get sixteen or more. If you do get an extremely large hand, remember that your opponent will have first count next hand. If you play on this time and next time, it will put you out without giving your opponent an opportunity to count his hand. With a hand of fifteen or less, you will have to decide whether to peg by 1. the amount of points in your hand, 2. your board position (the number of holes to go out), 3. whether you are holding pegging cards and 4. your opponent's position.

Poor or Average Hand: Remember, you and your opponent are both at hole 92. The only way you can win is to have your next two counts. The only way you can do that is to hold down your opponent's pegging and hope your opponent gets a below average hand. So play off.

Your Deal, You are Behind by 8 or More Just on Fourth Street

Good or Excellent Hand: You are at hole 91 with your opponent at hole 99. You are holding a fourteen hand. You need 30 holes while your opponent needs 22 holes. You have your three counts now. You are five holes short of average position (96). It is doubtful that your opponent will go out on this hand, so play on. The closer your opponent is the more cautious you need to be during the play.

Poor or Average Hand: Play on! If you don't play on, you will need a fairly large crib and your next hand will have to be excellent. Remember, even if you get an average Play, Hand and Crib (sixteen points) this time and an average Play and Hand next time (ten points), you will still be four holes short of going out.

Opponent's Deal, You are Behind by 8 or More Just on Fourth Street

Good or Excellent Hand: Remember, you are at hole 91 and your opponent is at hole 99. The only way you can possibly win is to keep your opponent from getting the position he wants for his nondealer hand. At this point it is not how many points you can get, but how few points your opponent gets.

Poor or Average Hand: With your opponent at hole 99 as the dealer and you at hole 91 as the nondealer, play off. Your only chance of winning the game is to have your next two counts as the dealer. In order to do this you must keep your opponent from getting good position for the next hand as the nondealer.

Reminder

In a position such as this, you should be willing to break up your hand in order to break up your opponent's crib. By doing this you will make it tougher for your opponent to get into position. This will give you an opportunity to win the game.

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

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