Basic lead strategy in cribbage
- If in doubt, lead a 4. This is the highest card on which the opponent cannot immediately make 15. Lower cards are best kept for later.
- Remember that ten-cards in cribbage far outnumber any others in the pack. Thus, your opponent is quite likely to have one or more 10s. Consequently, do not lead a 5, or make 21. Naturally enough, 10s are often accompanied by 5s. Beware of making 26.
- Conversely, making 11 is generally a good move, providing of course you hold the necessary ten-card to follow up your opponent’s.
When to lead a 5
Top cribbage player Bob Milk writes that leading a 5 can be a good cribbage strategy in the following situation:
I am holding a 5 and three 10-value cards and I need one more point to win than I am holding. Example, I am holding 5-10-10-J and any card is cut that does not increase the value of the hand. I am stuck with 8 points. I need 9 points to go out my opponent needs 4 or more points to win (they are in hole 117 or less). You lead the five. In the majority of cards, if you lead the 5, you will get at least 1 go. You may even pair their next lead. There are only a few combinations in which you will not get a go.
If your opponent is playing defensively, lead the 5 as he will be unlikely to pair it. But he may well play a 10-card which you can then pair for 2 points. As with any other game, your choice all depends on the strategy your cribbage opponent has adopted.
I think that this strategy is silly
With 10-10-5-x, I would tend to lead the ’cause if they make 15, I can pair the 5 and if they pair the 10, I’d get for three of a kind.
My fault, I didn’t pay attention to the context. For eking a Go out, the advice given is better.
“When holding two cards that together make 5 (for example 4 and Ace), lead one of them. Your opponent is likely to play a 10 onto it, enabling you to make 15.”
This feels more like strategy, but it seems like generally a good idea, if you can make the count 10 away from 15 or 31-x and you have x, then that’s a good thing.
if the hand is over and I need to count my hand, I have 7,2,3,3. the turned up card its useless to me.
conflict over count is:
(7+2) =9 plus (3 + 3) = 6. so 9+6= 15-2
(7+3)=10 plus (2+3) =5, so 10+5= 15-2
pair 3 = 2. total count is 6
as I didnt use the same configuration to reach 15 as in (9+6. and 10+5) is this proper counting or does it fall into using all the same cards twice? reducing my count to 4? hot discussion? As a newcomer to the game I appreciate your input.
Total point count is 4! 2 points for the pair and 2 points for the 15!