As we know, the non-dealer cuts for the "starter" before the play happens. Is there any strategic/tactical reason why you couldn't cut for the starter after the play?

Just before the play, the players' hands (and therefore, the crib) have been decided. Does knowing the starter have any impact on the play? If so, how would this change if the starter were determined after the play?


There are edge cases where it matters. If

  1. you threw a card in your opponent's crib
  2. that card came up
  3. your opponent is close to winning
  4. you are also close to winning

You would consider making more aggressive plays when scoring to try to out-peg your opponent. You may open yourself up to your opponent scoring more off your aggressive plays, but it's a risk you have to take because if you don't then you expect with high probability your opponent will win.

If you concealed the card, you wouldn't have that information about your opponent's crib during the pegging hand.

Also, if a Jack comes up, that player gets points and can win on the spot if they're close enough. (I forget if it's one or two pegs... but assume they're on the last one to win.) If you are close to pegging out too, you might win on pegging when your opponent would have won if the Jack would have given them the win.

  • Good answer. I was trying to think through big-picture stuff of how this would affect things on a hand-by-hand basis, but had ignored the end game subtleties. Jan 14 '15 at 0:18

If I have three 5s in my hand the cut card is a 5 then I know I can lead my 10 without fear of a 15.

If the cut card is a 2 I can more safely put the count to 29 without fear of an opponent 31.

These are all small edges and they are edges that both players get. The information in that one card combined with the knowledge of one's own hand and crib cards is a lot greater than without it.

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