Dart Game Rules

Rules For Cricket

Cricket: Cricket is my most favorite dart game and also the one that I learned first. It is also the most common one played in bars across America. Cricket is a game that, unlike x01, requires some strategy which can help a weaker player beat a stronger player.

The Object: The object of the game is to "close" all your numbers (20 down through 15 and bulls-eye) and end up with more or equal points to your opponent. To close a number, you must hit three of that number.

The Scoring: The scoreboard is drawn with the numbers 20 through 15 and bullseye written in descending order down the center of the board. Bullseye is usually abbreviated with a B (or C for cork, another term for the bullseye). Each dart that lands in any of the games numbers count toward closing that number. The thin outer ring counts as two of that number and is called a "double". The thin inner ring counts as three of that number and is called a triple. Scoring for one dart is shown by placing a slash ( \ ) next to the number scored. Scoring for two is shown by placing an X next to the number scored. Scoring for three is shown by placing a circle next to the number to indicate it is closed. When three of a number is scored in any combination, it is closed.

The Play: The players each take a turn throwing one dart at bulls-eye, closet dart to the bullseye gets to throw first. The first player throws three darts at any of the scoring numbers to try to close that number and/or score points (points will be explained later, and games can be played without points). The player then scores the darts that he has thrown and play alternates until one person closes all their numbers and has more or equal points to the opponent.

Now let's talk about points. Points is what makes the game of Cricket very interesting. After you close a number, if your opponent does not have the same number closed, any darts that land in that number count as points for you and are totaled on your side of the board. For example, you have your 18 closed and your opponent only has one 18. If you throw a triple 18, you now have 54 points added to any points you may have already scored. If your opponent now throws a triple 18, only two count to close the number. The third does not count for points because your 18 is already closed. If a player has all of their numbers closed including bullseyes but has less points, that player has not yet won the game. He must throw enough points to be even or ahead of the opponent. If the only number the opponent has open is bullseyes, then the player must throw extra bullseyes at 25 points each (or 50 points for the double bulls-eye).

Strategy: The best strategy is to close the highest numbers first in descending order (this is the reason they are written that way on the scoreboard). The reason for this is that if points are scored, the player with the higher number closed has a big advantage. If you closed your 20 and scored 20 points in your first round, your opponent would have to throw TWO 19's after they are closed to make up the points and score 38.

One important note that I should point out (no pun intended): Deliberately shooting too many points can lead to a bar-room brawl. Darts is considered a "polite game" much like golf. Players do not typically "point monger" each other. Staying one or two bullseyes ahead (25 to 50 points) is acceptable. Throwing more points on another player that is not an INCREDIBLY stronger player is not a good idea.

On the other hand, by scoring an appropriate number early and simply staying on top of the other player, a weaker player can often beat a stronger player by making the other player have to throw extra bullseyes to end the game. Be very careful with this strategy though, sometimes the other player might suddenly turn the tables and will be sure to remember all those extra points you threw on him! Another thing that can happen is that you waste time trying to be sure you have enough points and when you get to the bullseyes, you discover that the other player couldn't miss a bull if he tried. What you wind up with is alot of darts you wasted that could have been tried at bulls and an opponent who is grinning from ear to ear. A clue to warn you that this is happening is when you throw alot of points and your opponent doesn't seem to care (that is he's not throwing any points back).

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