John Chambers - Tip #9
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The first thirty holes are considered First Street. This street
is where the game's starting nondealer will be daring, since there
are three more streets to make up any lost points and where the
game's starting dealer will generally play off.
If you have the first Crib and are even or have fallen behind, your
opponent has stolen the Crib. Stealing the Crib can only happen on
the first hand of the game.
Having the first deal and the Crib should give a player a slight
advantage and the lead. As the game progresses, a player is either
ahead or behind. This is not necessarily due to the Crib. Sometimes
it is due to a player's poor hands, his discarding or his poor
strategy in the Play. Technically, if you are already ahead or
behind, you cannot have your Crib stolen. You cannot have an
advantage taken away from you which you don't have already.
The advantage of having the first deal has already been shown.
Remember, the dealer has three counts to get to hole 17 or 18, while
the nondealer has only one count.
These point categories will be used in the following situations:
Your Deal, Around Hole 16
Good or Excellent Hand: If you feel that this Hand and
Crib, and the next Hand will get you to at least to hole 44, then
play off. If you will need a few holes to get there and you can peg
without giving up the advantage to your opponent, then play on.
Poor or Average Hand: If you are ahead at this point and
receive a poor hand, then play on. Your goal is to get to hole 44.
If you receive and average hand, play on also. You may need those
few extra points at the end of the game.
If you are half a street (fifteen holes) or more ahead of your
opponent, play off. Don't give up that position going onto the next
street. In most instances your opponent will start doing better and
you will need those extra points.
However, if it is a fairly even game around hole 16 or 17, or you
are ahead by few holes, it's worth the risk to play on and try to
gain points on your opponent. Your opponent will need 28 or 30 holes
to get to hole 44. Remember, this is First Street. If you do lose
your advantage, you still have three streets to make it up.
Opponent's Deal, Around
Hole 16 or 17
Good or Excellent Hand: Assume that you receive a good
hand and the starter gave you a sixteen hand. You would play on. The
reason for this is that, with your sixteen hand, you would be at
hole 32, not counting pegging. You are twelve holes short. If you
can peg a few holes this time and lesson the gap to your next
positional hole (44), you will be in better position.
Poor or Average Hand: Let's face it, if you receive six or
seven in your hand, you will need to peg around twenty holes to get
your goal of hole 44. Not very likely. This being the case, pegging
will only help your opponent, so play off. For example, if you
successfully stall your opponent and he gets to only hole 29 or 31,
that is three or five additional holes above the average he must get
on his next hand in order to get to his next positional hole. If he
doesn't get them, it will make getting to his next positional hole
(70) more difficult.
Your Deal, You are Behind
by any Amount, Around Hole 16
Good or Excellent Hand: It's your deal. You are at hole 17
and receive a sixteen hand. This means that you will need eleven
more points between this Play, this Crib and your next Hand. You
will in all probability reach your goal (hole 44). However,
depending on where your opponent is will determine how recklessly
you should peg. If your opponent is at hole 20, then play on. The
more points he needs in this position, the less it will hurt if you
Poor or Average Hand: Assume that on your deal at hole 17,
you receive six in your hand. This means that between your next Play
and Hand you will need around twenty holes. Again, depending on
where your opponent is located will determine how liberal your risks
at pegging will be. The closer your opponent is to you, the more
liberally you will peg. The more your opponent is ahead of you, the
more conservative your pegging will be.
Opponent's Deal, You are
Behind, Around Hole 16
Good or Excellent Hand: If you are at hole 16 and your
opponent is only a few holes ahead of you it means that he will, on
the average, reach the next positional hole (44). This being the
case, pegging can only get him in better position the more he pegs.
The advice is to play off. Use your hand to get you closer and try
to stall your opponent. If he has below average hands, he may not
get to the desired position. You will then have the advantage.
Poor or Average Hand: Since you are stuck with a poor hand
and it's your opponent's Crib, you are going to have to play on.
Your opponent will probably get into his desired position. You'll
have to take the risk and peg.
- Republished from Cribbage: A New Concept by
permission. Text copyright © 2002 by John Chambers. All rights
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