Whether you are ahead or not, a high count will be no good to you if opponent goes out before you can show. Break up scoring combinations, if necessary, in order to control play. Remember, if another deal is played, your hand will be counted first.
POINTERS ON PLAY
The best opening lead is a 4. Opponent cannot make 15 and, whatever he plays next, you will have a chance to do so.
Other low cards are safe leads, but 3-2-A are much more valuable when held to play for go or 31.
Avoid leading a 5. Also avoid 6, 7, 8 or 9 unless you have near cards which will enable you to counter if your opponent scores.
As between two scoring plays, play so as to leave the opponent unable to counter without going over 31.
With choice of scoring plays, choose the one that leaves you the best chance to control go, or to make 31, or the one that will give your opponent the least chance of countering.
When well ahead, play "off"—that is, away from scoring chances—even by sacrificing points you might score, unless you have a sure counterscore.
When opponent is ahead, or as dealer when he may count out in the showing, "play on," risking an opposing score if it improves your chance to win during the play.