While most people instinctively understand the rules to play the standard variants of 301 and 501, more than a few people will give you a blank stare if you ask them to play some other dart games.
Chase The Dragon, Baseball, Loopy, Prisoner, and Mickey Mouse are some fantastic games that not many people know how to play because most people don’t play them that often.
However, some very popular games still elicit some confused looks from newcomers to the game, despite being played far and wide; such is the case with Cricket.
The rules of Cricket Darts are fairly simple and straightforward. However, they are set up in such a way that allows for a significant strategy to be implemented at the moment to moment of play.
Cricket Darts Rules
The first thing to know about cricket is that only the bullseye plus numbers 15 through 20 are active. Any throws that land in numbers 1 through 14 are considered null, and count as misses.
The game keeps the standard value rule for each of the sections of the dartboard. So, doubles and triples count as such.
Each turn, players will throw at the 7 valid targets in an attempt to score 3 marks on each, where a single counts as 1 mark, a double counts as 2 marks, and a triple counts as 3 marks.
So, if you are able to hit a triple on their first throw, you will earn 3 marks on that target. When one of the valid targets is marked three times it is considered closed.
The only way to score points is to hit a closed target. In other words, you cannot add any points to your tally until you have close out the number.
Furthermore, once a player is able to close off, it belongs to them, and any subsequent hits on that number by the player get added to their tally until the opponent closes it.
Once both opponents have closed a number, no points can be earned by landing a throw on it.
The first to close all numbers and have the highest score wins.
If there is a tie in points, the victory will go to the team that is able to close all numbers first.
Scoring in Cricket Darts
Scoring a game of cricket properly is crucial. This is because unlike games of 501 where it is basically just racing to a finish, in games of cricket, opponents can actively thwart others’ efforts.
Start by dividing your scoreboard into two sections. With a box down the middle rather than just a line. Write the players’ names at the top of the board then starting at the top of the box write the numbers 20 to 15 down the middle, followed by a B for the bullseye.
When a dart lands in one of the valid numbers mark the corresponding section under their name with a slash. When the same player lands their second mark add another slash to make an X. On the third valid mark, circle the X to indicate that the number has been closed by that player.
Remember a double counts as two and a triple counts as three. The inner bull is two points and the outer is one point.
If someone is able to get all 3 marks in 1 turn you can close off the number by just using a circle. Scoring wise, this is no different than an X with a circle. However, to some darters, a circle without an X is a show of skill, especially if there are several down their side of the board.
After a number has been closed off, you can start marking points for every dart that lands in that segment. Start the score at the top and go down, adding the points earned each round to the existing score.
Remember, once both players (or teams) close a number, it can no longer be scored on.
Once all numbers have been closed, the player with the highest score wins the match.
Tips And Strategies For Cricket Darts
Cricket, perhaps more than any other game of darts, lends itself to a robust and deeply rewarding strategic gameplay.
In cricket, you can actively alter or manipulate the flow of the game for the other players involved. From round to round you can play offensively, trying to rack up points, or defensively by closing off numbers.
With a good strategy, you can beat a more proficient player. At the same time, you can be an expert dart thrower and lose to a more inexperienced player that plays the right strategy at the right time.
In most cases, it is best to play offensively as the highest score does win the game. Here are some basic tips to help you gain an edge the next time you find yourself playing cricket.
When down on points, pick a high open number and throw to score points.
When you are ahead on points, focus on closing numbers.
If your opponent is three darts from victory in his next turn, play for points so that he needs more than three darts.
Thinking in terms of how many darts separates your score from your opponent’s may seem counterintuitive, but it is much more informative of the actual state of the match.
Variations On The Game Of Cricket
It is a popular 1v1 game but, it is far more fun with teams. Teams can be of 2, 3, or even 4 people.
If you just want to play an easy casual version of the game, you can have a race to close out all the numbers and forget about scoring entirely.