John Chambers - Tip #20

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Few hands are as frustrating as the nineteen hand. Especially if all six cards dealt to you haven't any combination of points. A nineteen hand can consist of all even cards, or a combination of odd and even cards, but never all odd cards.

Nineteen hand (even cards): 2-4-6-8-10-Q

Nineteen hand (odd and even cards): A-3-7-9-J-K

(All odd cards can't form a nineteen hand): A-3-5-7-9-9

A sixth odd card added to a hand of five odd cards would result in at least a pair or a fifteen.

It may not seem important, but a nineteen hand should be played the say way you would play any other hand. You should check your position and your opponent's position to determine how the hand should be played. As with any hand you should maximize a nineteen hand's effectiveness for your advantage.

  • 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?
     

2-4-6-8-10-Q

Assume in the above example that it is your opponent's Crib. You are at hole 70 and your opponent is at hole 60. With the above hand what should your strategy be? Now, ask those three questions.

Whose crib is it? My opponents.

What hole am I at? How many holes do I need to get into position? I am at hole 70 and I do not need any holes to get into position, since I am already at hole 70.

What hole is my opponent at? How many holes does my opponent need to get into position? He is at hole 60, ten holes short of his minimal positional hole. Therefore, he has three counts now and needs 36 holes to get into position on Fourth Street.

Knowing the above, you should play off so that your opponent will be less likely to get the points he needs. Therefore, discard the 2-Q to break up his Crib.

If the roles were reversed, you may have to go for the long shot and discard the 2-8. If a 5 comes up it will help in both the hand and the Crib.

Below are a number of discarding problems for nineteen hands in different situations. Chose the answer which is best for each situation.

A-2-9-10-Q-K

Situation A: You are the nondealer at hole 16 while the dealer is at hole 17. What will be your discard?

Situation B: You are the dealer at hole 16 while the nondealer is at hole 17. What will be your discard?

Discard options - Opponent's Crib

A-Q
A-2
A-K
9-10
2-9
Q-K

Solutions

Situation A: Q-K is the best discard. It's the beginning of the game and your opponent would need a J cut as the Starter. Although this will happen occasionally, by making this discard you not only keep pegging cards but also possibilities for runs.

Situation B: Since it is your Crib you will need to throw the discard which will give you the best opportunity for points. You should discard the 9-10.

2-4-6-8-10-Q

Situation A: You are the nondealer at hole 30 while the dealer is at hole 34. What will be your discard?

Situation B: You are the dealer at hole 30 while the nondealer is at hole 34. What will be your discard?

Discard options - Opponent's Crib

2-10
2-4
2-Q
6-8
4-Q
10-Q

Solutions

Situation A: 10-Q is the best discard. Let's face it. You are not in very good position but neither is the dealer. By making this discard you are not only keep better pegging cards, you are also keeping more options for more points. You need to get as far down second street as possible.

Situation B: Your discard would be the same, the 10-Q.

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

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