Cricket Dart Rules: How to Play & Crush Your Opponent


Believe it or not, cricket darts is the most common game that you will find in bars and entertainment venues across the United States. It’s quite a clever game that requires some quick thinking but at the same time, cricket dart rules are rather easy to follow.

The object of this game is to “close” all the numbers on the board, along with the bullseye. You need to hit each number (and bullseye) three times to close it, and the player with the most points at the end, wins.

As you might have noticed, there are many similarities between cricket darts and baseball darts. Both games use the term “innings” for rounds and involve a turn-based strategy that makes this game ideal for playing with singles or teams.

But let’s break this down further to better understand how to play cricket darts:


What You Should Know About Cricket Darts

There are many variations of this game and slightly different cricket dart rules depending on where you play. In fact, cricket darts is also popular all over the world and the game is called by many different names such as “tactics”, beds and bulls” and “Mickey Mouse”.

Cricket darts is played on a standard dartboard and typically requires two to four players for a game. The main objective of the game is to be the first person to open/close all the cricket numbers and end up with the highest score by the end of the final round.

But what numbers are we talking about?

Well, cricket darts most often uses the numbers 10, 15 and 20. You can open or close a number by hitting that number three times. Hitting the triple ring can also open or close a number in one go and a double ring counts as two hits. What’s more, numbers do not need to be opened or closed in any order and you are free to aim for several numbers one after the other. But more on the scoring process in a moment.

And if you feel somewhat confused, just read that last paragraph again.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most basic rules in a game of cricket darts.


Some of the Most Basic Cricket Dart Rules

Cricket Dart Rules

About Stepping Over the Line

As with most dart games, it’s important for players not to overstep the mark. Any player that steps over the line will forfeit their throw and lose any points scored during that round. However, you might want to take a more relaxed approach to this rule with family. After all, it’s not especially fun to tell people their score doesn’t count just because they had one toe on the other side of a particular line.

Failing to Record Scores

You are responsible for recording your own score in cricket darts. If you take a turn and fail to record your score before the next player throws their darts, you can lose those points. It’s a fun rule but also quite frustrating for when players get carried away with the celebrations. As we mentioned above, you may or may not want to use this rule but once taken lightly, it’s all part of the fun with cricket dart rules.

About the Dart Board and Equipment

While there is such a thing as the best dart board, you can use any type of board for cricket darts – including an electronic dart board. That being said, a decent board and certain accessories will always add some enjoyment to the occasion. For instance, you might want to consider investing in things like the best dart cases or a set of dart mats on the market. Either way, the game can be played with basic equipment but there’s always a way to upgrade the experience for all involved.

Playing Cricket Darts with Teams

Cricket darts is often played with teams of two or more people. In some cases, the points system is replaced by “penalty points” and this is known as cutthroat scoring. In this instance, the points are scored on every team which has not closed a number and the lowest score wins the game.

More About the Scoring Process in Cricket Darts

Each player will aim to hit each number three times and then the bullseye three times. While the bullseye counts as two points, the outer bullseye provides one. Similarly, the double and triple rings count as two and three hits respectively. The first player to hit every number three times has “opened” and any future hits on that number will gain points. But an opponent can also hit that same number three times to close the number, at which point that number is then removed from the game. In case you might be wondering, the double and triple rings provide double and triple multiples of that number, while the outer bullseye is worth 25 points and the main bullseye is worth 50.

The Order of Which Numbers You Play

There is no order in terms of which numbers you can open and you are free to choose these numbers at random as you play. However, as we will explain later, there is sometimes a reason why you might choose a certain number. It’s also not necessary to call your shot.

Creating a Scoring Chart for Cricket Darts

You will need a scoreboard to keep track of all the numbers. It’s best to list each player’s name down the side of the page and then create columns across the page which will be where you can record the score for each round and number. Just so you know, a slash is used to record a hit, while an “x” marks a second hit and a circle marks the third.


How to Play Cricket Darts in 10 Simple SteHow to Play Cricket Darts

Step 1 – Summarize the Rules for the Players

Before you play, make sure that everyone is familiar with cricket dart rules. Also, ensure that each player knows that the objective is to achieve the highest score and the first to do so, will win. Keep in mind that some players might be used to playing with different rules and it’s always best to agree on this kind of things before you start playing.

Step 2 – The “Diddle”

The diddle is a short game which decides who goes first according to the cricket dart rules. Simply put, each player throws one dart and the closest to the bullseye will go first or last – depending on their preference.

Step 3 – Taking Turns Throwing Three Darts

Each player will take turns by throwing three darts. These darts are thrown in succession and as with baseball darts, each turn is called an “inning”.

Step 4 – Closing an Inning/Round

In order to close a round, each player or team must land three darts on the same number. This can be three darts on the same number or by hitting the double or triple ring. In the case of hitting the double ring, a player will still need one more hit in order to close the number.

Step 5 – Owning a Number

When a player or team has scored a dart three times on any number, they will own that number. When this happens, no more scoring can be made on that same number by any team or player.

Step 6 – Opening or Closing the Bullseye

The outer bullseye is counted as a single hit, while the inner bullseye is counted as a double. Therefore, you can close the bullseye by reaching three hits with a combination of these two.

Step 7 – Scoring Points After Opening a Number

When a player or team manages to close an inning, it’s possible to score points on this number until the number is closed by another team or player. If a player hits the double or triple ring for that number, it counts as two or three times the nuber. All scores are added to the chart.

Step 8 – Counting the Score on “Owned” Numbers

When a number is owned by a player, the double and triple rings will count as either two or three times the value of the number.

Step 9 – Deciding the Winner

If a player or team closes all innings and has more points than anyone else, that team/player is declared the winner.

Step 10 – When the Game is Tied

If both players or teams are tied at the end of the last inning, the first person to close all innings is declared the winner. If a player closes all innings first but does not have the most points, they must keep trying to score on any innings that are open until they have the most points. During this time, the opponent can “catch up” and win the game.

And that’s all you really need to know about cricket dart rules to get started. Needless to say, counting the score is the only real tricky thing about cricket dart rules but even this scoring is rather simple when you’ve played the game more than a few times.


How to Crush Your Opponents at Cricket Darts

Keeping score in cricket darts is one way to ensure you have the best possible chance of winning. As already mentioned, if you fail to record this score, you can lose points and this almost certainly happens to players that are new to the game. With this in mind, try to remain aware of the score and record your efforts on the scoring chart.

That being said, there is definitely a way to strategize and you really need to think ahead to outsmart the other platers. As a rule, it’s best to aim for the highest numbers at the beginning and work your way backwards. This strategy is better because the highest scoring player wins as soon as the numbers have been closed.

Here’s some more things to keep in mind that should help crush your opponent:

Find Out Your Opponents Favorite Numbers

It might seem a little much but if you know the preferred numbers of your opponent, it can serve you well to hit them first. That is to say, every player has a set of numbers they prefer to hit and you can simply frustrate them by hitting their numbers, first.

Score High Early in Order to Play Mind Games

Similarly, it can really help to score high points at the beginning of cricket darts. Your opponent will likely feel under pressure if you score high early on and this also takes away their opportunity to rack up some high scoring numbers.

Try to Strategize What Numbers You Hit

You can choose numbers at random but it sometimes serves better to aim for particular numbers. For instance, if your opponent has hit a certain number twice, you might decide to try and open that number yourself. It might not always pay off but sometimes defense is the best way to go on the offense!

Aiming for the Bullseye Early On

If you happen to be new to cricket darts, hitting the bullseye at the very beginning might be a good strategy. You see, the bullseye is notoriously hard to hit but you can gain immense confidence by striking it lucky at these early stages. What’s more, because of the position, you will most often hit other numbers even when you miss the bullseye.


Final Thoughts

Cricket dart rules are pretty straightforward but you need to know them to stand any chance of winning. If playing against skilled or experienced players, you might also want to use one of the above strategies and aiming for the bullseye is a great way for beginners to start overturning the odds.

Keeping score is also one of the areas in which many players fall down and if you remember to record these scores, you’ll most often be one step ahead of at least one other player. Either way, cricket darts are immensely fun and regardless of the competition, thinking before each throw should help you get ahead.


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