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Choosing the Right Discard Using the Safety Point Count System

Using the safety factor point count system should be done in order to win the game obviously, but more so it should be utilized to help you figure out which card to discard so that it will benefit only you. Throwing the correct or the “right” discard will not always prove to be the winning play, because there is always the element of luck involved in any given hand. However, the right discard will win a much higher percentage of hands than will any other play. If followed, this system will provide the correct choice of discard for any given defensive or offensive situation. The decision as to whether or not to make a play for its defensive or offensive value is solely at the discretion of the player, based on all the other factors that must go into making this decision.

An example of a hand that emphasizes all of these problems at the same time would be a six-melded hand together with a combination of the J♣, J♦, Q♦, plus the 6♣ with no known factors relating to any of these cards or Kings or Tens. All we do know is that one of our opponent’s melds is four Aces. We are also faced with a safe count of 30 points which precludes the possibility of throwing off a run. Our pick from the deck is the 10♠. Our first decision is whether to remain under the count and gamble the hand offensively or attempt to go to the wall defensively and risk breaking existing runs and going over the count. Obviously with our game in jeopardy, it is not advantageous to go over the count. Therefore, we must eliminate the thought of taking the hand to the wall. We must then decide whether to play the hand for its maximum offensive possibilities or its maximum defensive possibilities, short of going to the wall. If our decision is to play the hand to its maximum potential defensively without going over the count we can establish just at face value with no other information that the defensive value of each of the five possible discards are as follows: the 10♠ which is a 6 value, the 6♣ which is a 4 value, the J♣ which is a 3 value, the Q♦ which is a 3 value, and the J♦ which is a 2 value. The obvious choice would be the 10♠ because although it has a ranking of a 6 defensively, it is has a value of 0 offensively. It is most important to remember that just as a card may be used six ways by your opponent; it can also be used six ways by you.

When in doubt as to what card to throw between two possible discards, you need to calculate the numerical defensive count of each against the offensive count and whichever one gives you the better odds, that is the card to keep. For instance, you have a choice of throwing the Q♣ or J♦. The Q♣ has an offensive value to you of tow and the J♦ an offensive value of four. Their defensive values being equal, you would of course, retain the J♦. If the Q♣ had a defensive value of one point better than the J♦, then you would still generally retain the J♦. If, however, the Q♣ had a defensive value of three points better than the J♦, then you would want to retain the Q♣.

1 thought on “Choosing the Right Discard Using the Safety Point Count System

  1. A player has an improper knock when he mistakenly discards a 4 rather than a 6 and thereby goes down with a count of 12. Obviously he has to play his cards up. Does he immediately then have the option to discard the 6 thereby now having a proper knock by going down with 10? Or does the 4 stay as his discard and he continues playing with remaining 10 cards face up? Thank you , Jim DeMars, Leawood, Ks

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