15

Counting 3-3-3-3-9

Ray emailed our emergency scoring help department with this question:

we had a discussion on counting one hand with one 9 and four 3. one said total is 24 and another said 20 which is it please.

Regular readers will know the standard Cribbage Corner method for counting this and other tricky hands:

  1. First count 15s. The only way to make 15 with this hand is with the 9 and a pair of 3s. As we've outlined in other forum posts, there are 6 ways to pick a pair from 4 cards. So there are 6 ways to make 15, scoring 12 points in all.
  2. Then count pairs - again, there are 6 different pairs of 3s, scoring another 12 points.
  3. Then count runs, flushes and nobs - there are none, so the total is 24.

I hope this helps settle an argument!

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