Cricket is the most common dart game 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 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 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 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
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
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 allot
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 allot of points and your opponent doesn't
seem to care (that is he's not throwing any points back).
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