4-14-10 2-2 Money Game/Answer

It actually didn't occur to me to make the ace point here.   After I saw the right play, I have to be honest and tell you that I still wasn't clear about why that play was best.  I turned to my coach, Perry, and told him I wanted to make this the position of the day, and asked him if he would have made the right play over the board, and why. 

Here was Perry's response:

"Easily.  More gammons when Red fans, 23 numbers that make either the 3 or 4 point if the blot on the 10 doesn’t need to be moved on the next roll.  Playing against a phantom ace point could be equally as annoying over many rolls as having a gap on the 3 and 4 that doesn’t get filled in all the time with contact remaining.  Single game difference is not overwhelming but gammon difference is huge."

Also note that at match scores where gammons are important, the hitting play becomes virtually automatic.  By the way, how long would it take you to figure out that there are 23 point-making numbers?  Being able to do this quickly over the board is more and more critical as clocks become more of the norm in tournaments around the world.  There are shortcuts you can and should learn.