How to Play Cricket Darts

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Cricket is a sport that is enjoyable, simple to learn, and enjoyed by dart players of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. Here's all you need to know about playing cricket with darts.

What is cricket?

Cricket is the most popular dart game in the United States, as well as around the world, and is sometimes referred to as "Mickey Mouse" in the United Kingdom. Cricket's goal is to close each number on the dartboard, 1 through 15, plus the bull's eye, ahead of your opponent while being even or ahead in points.

Let's now go over the specifics and rules for playing Cricket Darts.

Cricket Darts Rules

Cricket's goal is simple. Close out all the numbers, including the Bull. And while you are ahead, or even in total points, you must close the numbers before your opponent.

- How Many Players?

There are two players, or teams, in cricket. You can also play solo with 3 or 4 other players. There are no restrictions on the number of players who can participate.

- Numbers

Cricket is played with the numbers 20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15 and the Bull on a dartboard.

- Starting Out

Pick your teams (if doubles) and decide who shoots first. In the first game, each player takes a shot at the bull's eye. The player whose dart is closest to the target throws first. In successful games, the winner or a winning team member throws first.

Every player gets 3 darts. If you're playing with a partner, you'll take turns.

- Closing numbers

Close a number by scoring three times. A triple (inside ring) is achieved by hitting three singles, a double, and a triple. Any order is acceptable. You can also play cricket in sequence. For more expert players, playing in order is a fun and challenging way to play. Use the standard marks to indicate one, two, or three hits (aka close) per turn:

- Scoring Points in Cricket:

If you close a number that your opponent hasn't closed yet, you can start scoring until your opponent does. The double and triple count as 2 or 3 times the numerical value of each number in play. The previous score is added.  Assume you closed the 16, but your opponent hasn't. A double 16 now scores 32 points. You can score on that 16 until your opponent closes it. That's it. Keep track of your own or your team's score in the scoreboard's outside margins. 

Keep your darts on the board until you've scored that turn.

Simple Strategies for Winning Cricket

- Aim for the triple.

One typical method is to constantly aim for your number's triple ring. This keeps your focus on the fat part of the segment, boosting your chances of hitting a single. If your opponent hasn't closed that number yet, aiming for triples will swiftly build up the points.

- Throw first and gain points.

If you choose that strategy, getting closest to the bull's eye at the start of the game is critical. Throwing first is another benefit in cricket. Throwing first allows you to close out a number and begin adding points before your opponent has even begun. When they eventually get their chance, they'll be playing catch-up.

- Understand Your Comfort Zone

Close easy numbers first, then establish a point buffer. Many players begin with 20. But most games are not sequential. If you're more comfortable with numbers at the bottom of the board (for example, 16 or 19), aim for those first to make some room and give yourself more time on the ones that generally cause some difficulty.

- Don’t forget the bull.

Closing out the bull is a difficult part of the game for many players. Leaving the cork exposed allows your opponent to catch up. Another method is to hit the bull's-eye quickly. You can't win without hitting three corks.

Cricket Darts Variations

Some common cricket variations might make the game easier, faster, more difficult for expert players, or just different from the normal format.

- Play without points.

Playing without points is a great way for beginners to keep things light and relaxing. If no points are given, each player simply closes the numbers. This is a fantastic way to go if you have folks waiting to play or just want to keep it light.

- Play in Order

To make it more difficult, start counting from 20 and count down to the bull's eye. It doesn't count if you hit a number out of order.

- Add more numbers.

You can just add to the numbers in play to extend the game. For example, after the 15, for example, add the digits 14 through 11 before the bull's eye. This broadens the game and adds the challenge of aiming at different parts of the board.

- Play "Cutthroat" Cricket

This is basically the usual game with three players instead of two. Cutthroat allows two players to team up and score points to eliminate the other player.

- Play Solo Cricket

Playing a solo game of cricket and extending the numbers as indicated above is a wonderful way to practice darts.

FAQs about Cricket Darts

1. How many points is the Bull?

The bull's outer ring is 25 points. a 50-point inner-circle (bull's eye). The inside is a double, while the outside is a single. Extra hits can quickly mount up if you close the bull first.

2. What if I close all the numbers but am still behind?

If you close all your numbers first but are still down in points, you must keep scoring on your opponent's open numbers until you surpass their total.

3. What happens if I close all the numbers but we are tied in points or the points total is ‘0’?

Then you would win because you closed the numbers first and did not lose points.

4. How high must the dartboard be to play "Cricket"?

The official board height for cricket (and darts) is 5'8". (From the floor to the Inner Bull's center).

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