DeLynn Colvert - Tip #11

Twenty-Six Theory, part 2

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After compiling and averaging thousands of hands I found the average points scored and pegged by the non-dealer is 10.2. This same compiling and averaging gives the dealer (including pegging and scoring the crib) 16.2 points per deal. Every two deals, the average points add to 26.4. This is the basis if the Cribbage Law of Averages. And hence the name of my theory.

Now, let's project these average points per deal around the 121-point board. First the non-dealer: 10.2, 26.4, 36.6, 52.8, 63.0, 79.2, 89.4, 105.6 and on the ninth deal stands at 115.8.

Now the average points per deal for the dealer (remember, he has the first crib): 16.2, 26.4, 42.6, 52.8, 69.0, 79.2, 95.4, 105.6 and on the ninth deal stands at 121.8.

The Cribbage Law of Averages dictates that the dealer will win the game by scoring his crib hand on the ninth deal. The non-dealer will be about five (5.2) points short after counting first on the ninth hand. And this crucial five points will, on the average, cause the non-dealer to lose 56 games of 100 (skill levels being equal, of course). These averages are the foundation of the Twenty-Six Theory.

The Twenty-Six Theory uses twenty-six as the average rather than twenty-seven (dropping the .4) because it's easier to slow a game (play off) than it is to speed up (play on) the game. It takes both players' cooperation to form runs, 15-2s and pairs. However, if one player decides to play defense, and lays off forming runs, pairs and 15-2s, his opponent is stymied.

So, with twenty-six as the basis for the theory, let's once again project the players around the 121-point board.

The Nondealer


After nine average deals, the non-dealer is 7 points short of winning the game.

The Dealer


After nine average deals, the dealer is one point short of winning the game, and more importantly, has first count on the 10th deal.

- Republished from Play Winning Cribbage by permission. Text copyright © 2002 by DeLynn Colvert. All rights reserved.

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