John Chambers - Tip #4

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Before you begin, I would like to point out that the following problems are examples of general discarding techniques. Under game conditions, circumstances might dictate other discard choices.

1. 3-K-2-J-8-5

Your Crib? Opponent's Crib?

If it is your crib, you would discard the 8-5 into the crib. By keeping the 3-2 instead of the 5, you would leave yourself with more options to improve your hand. The crib, with a 5 in it, will also have potential. Remember, almost one-third (30.77%) of the entire deck are tenth cards. Your opponent will probably throw at least one tenth card into the crib.

If it is your opponent's crib, you would throw wide cards, the K-8, into his crib. You would not throw the J-8 since the J is a potential point if the starter card is of the same suit.

In the above example, discarding the J instead of the K may seem trivial. However, if on average there are nine or ten hands per player in each game and a player makes a one point mistake each time, that is at least a nine point swing in the game.

2. 5-6-Q-2-8-3

Your Crib? Opponent's Crib?

If it is your crib, you would discard the 6-8. This discard would leave you with a greater potential for fifteens in your hand plus the possibility of a run in the crib.

If it is your opponent's crib, you would discard the 3-6 into his crib. This follows the wide card rule as much as possible. You would not throw the Q-8 into the crib even though this follows the wide card rule since it would leave you with four less points in an already small hand. By discarding the 3-6 into your opponent's crib, you still retain four points in your hand.

3. 2-4-7-6-3-J

Your Crib? Opponent's Crib?

If it is your crib, you would discard the 6-7 into the crib. In your hand you would be sure of at least one fifteen and a run of 2-3-4. In the Crib there would also be the potential for a run.

If it was your opponent's crib, you would follow the wide card rule and discard the J-7. The J and 6 would not be discarded because you would be breaking up a fifteen combination, 2-3-4-6. Let's assume the J-7 are the same suit. This discard would still be okay. If you are at least aware of a flush possibility each time you discard, you will consciously discard flush possibilities less often and you will be hurt less often by them.

4. 7-8-9-5-3-10

Your Crib? Opponent's Crib?

In the fourth discard problem, your choice is not as simple as it may seem. If it is your crib, you can keep the 7-8-9-10, giving you six points in your hand. You could also keep the 7-8-9-3 in your hand. With this discard you would have five points in your hand and the three could be used as a pegging card when the Play nears thirty-one. You would also be discarding a fifteen combination to the crib, which also has potential. Actually, if you said either answer, you would be right because the determination of either discard would depend on the circumstances of the game you were in.

If you were discarding to your opponent's crib, the choice is much simpler. You would discard the 10-3 into the crib. This follows the wide card rule.

5. 3-9-2-A-J-6

Your Crib? Opponent's Crib?

If it was your crib you would discard the 9-6. By keeping the A-2-3-J, you would retain the same number of points (five) in your hand that you would have if you kept the A-2-3-9, plus you have the potential in the crib. By making such a discard you not only help your hand, but also your crib.

If you are discarding to your opponent's crib, you would follow the wide card rule by discarding the J-6 into the crib.

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

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