Tip 1: Endgame two-on-one, part
Tip 2: Pegging psychology
Tip 3: Endgame two-on-one, part 2
Tip 4: Reading your opponent's cards
Tip 5: Flush fakes
Tip 6: Endgame pegging, part 1
Tip 7: Endgame discarding as pone
Tip 8: Endgame two-on-one, part 3
Tip 9: Pairing your opponent's lead
Tip 10: Discarding pointers
Tip 11: Pegging quiz
Tip 12: Endgame pegging, part 2
Tip 13: Endgame discarding quiz
Tip 14: Endgame pegging, part 3
Tip 15: Endgame pegging, part 4
Tip 16: Endgame pegging quiz
Tip 17: Endgame two-on-one, part 4
Tip 18: Discarding quiz
Tip 19: Always play it out
Tip 20: Endgame pegging, part 5
You need twelve holes to win; your opponent needs sixteen. Your opponent deals the cards, and you pick up A-2-6-6-6-K. Should you toss A-K or 2-K? It seems to be a tossup. Keeping the ace helps if the cut is a deuce or an 8. Keeping the deuce helps if the cut is an A or a 7. What's the difference?
The difference may lie in opponent's crib. If you throw the A-K, you'll probably cut a 4. In 30 years of cribbage, I've never tossed my opponent A-K without cutting a 4. You may be luckier than I am, so let's just say that when you toss A-K to your opponent, you don't want to cut a 4. Likewise, when you toss 2-K, you don't want to cut a 3.
But on this particular hand, you do want to cut a 3. It's one of the cuts that will put you out. So you toss 2-K. The cut that helps your opponent's crib as much as any other (as far as you know), puts you out before he gets to count it. And a cut that doesn't help your hand (a 4, for instance) is also less likely to help his/her crib.
Now let's look at the same cards but with a slightly different position. This time both you and the dealer need sixteen holes. Do you toss A-K or 2-K?
This time you may lose the game, even if you get the cut. If you get a cut but peg fewer than four holes, you'll have to hope you can peg out next hand. Of course, there may not be a next hand, which is why you shouldn't toss A-K. If you don't get a cut for a dozen, you'll have little chance of winning; but if you do get a cut (a 3, in particular), you want opponent's crib to be empty so that the game goes on.
Granted, A-K could turn into a big crib, even if a 3 is cut; but 2-K is more dangerous, as it could turn into eight or nine points with just a couple of face cards from opponent.
Here's another example. You hold 2-4-5-6-9-10. The dealer needs seventeen holes to win. Do you toss 2-9 or 2-10? It depends. If you need fourteen points, a 4 puts you out; so toss 2-9. Let your opponent have a good crib when the cut puts you out. If you need eighteen points, a 4 doesn't put you out; so toss 2-10, hoping opponent's crib is a bust. If you toss 2-10 and the cut is a 3 and opponent's crib does put him/her out, so what? Your chances of winning dropped to slim and none anyway when you didn't get a cut.
- Text copyright © 2002 by Dan Barlow. All rights reserved.