SNUGGLEING CAN GET YOU WHIPPED!!
I used to tell Joan Cook she was a terrible snuggler and I knew that because she doesn’t have any kids! I was kidding but she didn’t snuggle often which makes her smarter than most of us. You wind up giving blocks away on your hammer or maybe two; sometimes you wind up in the kitchen just for good measure. If you must snuggle, do it only when you have the hammer; repeat, only when you have the hammer and as Dale Williams advises only on the 3rd block so your opponent only has one chance to make a mess of you. Books I’ve read say only to snuggle in the 8’s and Glen Peltier would agree with that because he teaches players how to hit a low snuggle firmly on the side knocking your block off the board and rolling the opponents block into the kitchen. However; Lee Jordan, one of the games all-time great players, and Mike Vassalotti, the games best snuggler, maintains the only place to snuggle is in the 7’s because the lines are further apart and therefore harder to edge your block off the scoring surface. Mike feels “the snuggle” is a great play late in a game to keep from being put in the kitchen. You really have to decide what will work for you; keep in mind how dangerous the play is; this is one of the areas where you probably don’t want to do what I do and that is I snuggle on almost every block late in a game where I have the lead or need two blocks to win or put my partner in position to win. Now and again I get burned.
If you’re in the 70’s and your opponents have very little score but do have the hammer you have to be very careful because at some point they are going to try and shot your hide block into the kitchen; they have no choice. If the boards clear and you have your last shot before they shoot their hammer what do you do with it. Some consider it bad sportsmanship to just push the block off the board and are very vocal about it. For that reason some players act as if they are putting up a St Pete but come up short so the block will be taken off the board, some just shot it off the board anyway. I have personally lost two tournaments by being a good sport and allowing the opponent to be a bad sport by shooting my block, which I’ve pushed off to the side, into the kitchen. Now I keep the other guy from being a bad sport by pushing the block off the board and I suggest you do the same!
Earl Ball 2006 07 30.