George "Ras" Rasmussen - Tip #8
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Should you lead the deuce when holding three ten-point cards?
Let's look at this in simple terms first. In DeLynn Colvert's book he
says count the cards that will score. If you lead the 2
there are three potential cards that could score, and they are all
deuces. If you lead one of the ten point cards, there are seven cards
potentially that could score (5-5-5-5 and x-x-x).
This would suggest that your lead of the x is more than
twice as likely to produce points than leading the 2.
Also by leading the deuce, you have a chance to pair a ten-point card if
dealer plays one first. Dealer will be holding a double run of
ten-cards, or ten-cards with one or more 5s, nearly 40%
of the time.
For those who worry about dealer making the count eleven on the deuce
lead (which will require you to make the count 21), let's take a look at
what happens to a 9 in dealer's hand. Of the ten most
frequent dealer discards to his or her own crib, 6-9,
8-9 and 7-9 stand out. When we look at the
next group of ten, there's the 9-10, and a short distance
down the list is the 9-9. There is a high percentage
chance that if dealer started with a 9, it is now in the
crib. Secondly, if a 9 is retained, most often it is
retained with other middle cards or 3s. Only in the case
of 6-9-10-J (the 6 could be any other
card), 9-10-10-J or some other double run from a 9
upwards, or 5-9-10-J, is a 9 present with
ten-point cards. Those hands do cause some vulnerability to you if the
9 is used to make the count 11, but they will be in play
only about 10% of the time. Play the percentages. If you looked at this
over many pegging scenarios, for each 100 pegs that the 2
lead would produce, the x lead would garner the dealer
Don't pay too much attention to the table advice offered. Many
players have heavy biases based on hunches, etc. You are much better off
to play the percentages even if you got burned the last time you tried
- Text copyright © 2004 by George Rasmussen. All rights reserved.
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