John Chambers - Tip #19

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Some people break up their hand when they shouldn't, others don't break it up when they should. How do you know what is the right thing to do?

When deciding to discard from a hand with two three-card runs, three pairs, to pairs royal, or a nineteen hand, you should ask a number of important questions:

  • Whose Crib is it?
  • What hole am I at? How many holes do I need to get into position?
  • What hole is my opponent at? How many holes does my opponent need to get into position?

The answers to these questions will help you determine the discard to make.

Two Pairs Royal

2-2-2-3-3-3

This is a difficult hand. No matter what you discard, it will be giving your opponent points or other scoring opportunities.

Let's assume that you are at hole 96 and your opponent is at hole 94. It's your opponents Crib. What should you discard?

Discard options: Opponent's Crib

2-2
3-3
2-3

Answer: There are no good discard choices. However, the best discard is the pair of 2s.

First, 2-3 is probably the worst discard. It now only gives your opponent fifteen possibilities, but also sets up run possibilities.

Second, considering that you have three 3s in your hand, two 2s aren't as likely to hurt you.

Third, remember that it is better to discard even cards into the Crib. Even cards tend to do less damage than odd cards.

Of course, if it was your deal, I would suggest throwing 2-3 into your own Crib.

7-7-7-8-8-8

Let's assume that it is a close game on third street. You are at hole 78 and your opponent is at hole 81. It is your opponent's deal.

Again, you are in a sticky situation. No matter what you do, you must discard points to your opponent.

Discard options: Opponent's Crib

7-7
8-8
7-8

The best discard would be the pair of 8s. First, 7-8 gives your opponent a fifteen and a set up for a run.

Secondly, remember that it is better to throw even cards into the Crib. Odd cards make the hand.

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

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