3-1 Match Play‎ > ‎

3-1 Answer/Analysis by Simborg

I have shown this position in lessons to players of all levels, and the plays are all over the board from hitting none, to one, to hitting two.

As you can see from the rollout below, the right play is to hit one.

It's tough to come up with the right play in situations like this, where even the best play gives you very little hope.  Most people tend to pretty much give up.  What many don't realize is that making a play that gains you 10 percent equity when you have very little chance and making a 10 perent better play when you are crushing your opponent, in the end, is the same thing.  At the end of the day, you will win or lose that much more or less either way.  Great players always look to find the best plays no matter how hopeless the situation appears.  How many times have you seen someone win a game that appeared to be hopeless?   If you can turn a game from 100 to 1 against you to 85 to 1, and you make these kind of plays consistently, it will add up to a lot more victories.

In this case, many are tempted to not hit anything and simply hope that but self-destructs with a combination of doubles that doesn't play and forces him to break his prime.  Pretty slim odds.  Others hit two, simply because they are used to doing it, not realizing that by hitting two blue doesn't have any immediate bad rolls. 

But hitting one gives Blue an immediate bad roll--2-6.  And hitting one makes just about any 2 (except 2-5) potentially pretty bad if Blue doesn't perform on the next roll.

So 12/9* is obvious, and then continue, simply because playing 8/7 leaves just too many blots to recover from if they all get hit.