John Chambers - Tip 15

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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.

Your deal, you are ahead by at least eight just on Fourth Street

Average, Good or Excellent Hand: An average hand is included under this category because an eight hand at this point would be considered a fairly good hand. Your opponent is at hole 91 while you are hole 99. In most instances, even if you play on, your opponent won't be able to get the position that he desires (around hole 111 with first count). In this instance you should determine by the hand you are holding, how much you will need in the Play and the Crib this hand and in your next hand as the nondealer. For example, say you receive a sixteen hand in this position. With the average dealer's Play (three) and the average Crib (four), you should be out after this hand. Otherwise, you will still have your next count to go out on. Play on only if you really need the points, otherwise, play off. Playing on is more advantageous for your opponent, especially if he is holding an excellent hand.

Poor Hand: Receiving a poor hand at this point would force you to peg a few holes in order to remain in good position for your next hand as the nondealer. Remember, your opponent is at hole 91. It is unlikely, even if he pegs, that he will get the desired position (around hole with first count). Play on to get yourself into position for your next hand.

Opponent's deal, you are ahead by at least eight just on Fourth Street

Average, Good or Excellent Hand: Your opponent is at hole 91. You are at hole 99. It's your opponents crib. If you receive an average or good hand, play off. Attempt to stall your opponent so that he will need a very large hand next time. If you don't play off, you could give your opponent some extra holes which will make it easier for him to go out.

If you receive an excellent hand, fourteen or over, play on. Pegging offensively this time should make it easier to peg out next time.

Poor Hand: If you get a poor hand at this point, play off. Remember, you are at hole 99 while your opponent is at hole 91. You are in position. Your opponent has a long three counts. By playing off you hope to stall your opponent enough to make it difficult to go out. You will then have two counts as the dealer.

Your deal, fairly close game, middle of Fourth Street

Average, Good or Excellent Hand: You are both at hole 105. You are holding a twelve hand. Play off. You have to play as though your opponent has ten or twelve in his hand. This being the case you opponent only needs to peg four or five holes; don't let him. A good hand could put you close enough for your crib to put you out. However, it won't do you any good if you don't get to count it.

Poor Hand: Play off. Your first goal is to keep your opponent from going out. Your second goal, which depends on accomplishing the first, is to count your hand and your crib. You will then be able to either count your next hand or peg-out, depending on how close your opponent gets.

Opponent's deal, fairly close game, middle of Fourth Street

Average, Good or Excellent Hand: Remember, your opponent is probably thinking the same thing you would if you were in his position: "I'll play off so that I can get to count my hand and crib". Play on, you better go out on this hand or your opponent will.

Poor Hand: At this point, you're between a rock and a hard place. If you have a four hand, it means that next time you will have a lot to peg if you play off this time. If you play on, it could mean that your opponent will peg some needed holes that could put him out. You will have to risk it at this point, so play on.

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

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