As someone who visits pubs on a regular basis, cricket darts are among the most common bar games I encounter. I’ve found that it’s one of the fun ways my friends and I can blow some steam off.
So, how do you play cricket darts? Like regular darts, cricket darts require players to throw the darts at the board, aiming to hit any number from 15 to 20 as well as the bull’s eye. Each player gets three throws per round, after which their turn ends. The objective is to defeat their opponents by “closing out” numbers or gaining as many points as possible. A game ends when all the available numbers and bull’s eye are “closed out.”
The Step-by-Step Guide to Playing Cricket Darts
The first thing to know here is that each player will throw three darts in every turn. After throwing three darts, the player takes notes for any strike in that round on the scorecard and collects all darts back from the dartboard.
Two things were mentioned previously: “close-out” and points. It’s crucial to know these two things because they will determine whether you win the game or not. Thus, you must understand them first before you go to a bar and pick up any dart.
First, you should know that close-out means you hit a number, plus the bull’s eye, three times. If you look at a dartboard, you can see numbers written outside the circle, ranging from 15 to 20. Therefore, you must try to do a close-out before your opponent does.
To further elaborate, when you hit one of the numbers, you will get a “/” symbol beside that number on the scorecard. Then if you hit it again, a “\” sign will be added.
Finally, the third time you hit that same number, a circle will be added, resulting in an “X” with a circle around it, which means you have already closed that number out.
How to Calculate Points in Cricket Darts
Now that we have discussed what “close-out” is, let’s move on to the points part. Simply put, the amount of points you earn is based on the number you close.
So, if you do a close-out on the number 17, you will get 17 points; if you do a close-out on the number 20, you will get 20 points, so on and so forth.
To understand more about the scoring system, you can take a quick look at the dartboard again. You will see that the circle are divided into some sections. Those sections are the outer ring, inner ring, and lastly, the bull’s eye, which has its own outer ring and inner ring.
When you strike the outside ring of a number, you get two hits. Then, if you strike the inner ring, you get three hits. Aside from those rings, the large black section called “single ring” counts as one hit.
So, to help you better understand, let’s say you hit the inner ring of number 18. This means you already achieved a close-out on number 18. Additionally, the same rule applies to the bull’s eye as well.
As long as the other player has not done a close-out on that number, you can rack up points as much as you want.
However, if both players have done close-outs on that number, it means that the number won’t be in play again. The game will end once a player closes all the available numbers out, including the bull’s eye.
Simple Strategies to Help You Win Cricket Darts
Even if you have a solid throw, a great cricket darts strategy might be the difference between victory and defeat. Therefore, it is essential to understand where you should be aiming at and why in various scenarios.
First, you should always keep in mind that the goal is to score as many points as possible. After all, you will want to avoid giving your opponent the chance to level your scores. Therefore, it’s best to keep a game lead whenever possible.
For example, if you have the first turn to throw the darts, always aim to close out number 20 as quickly as possible. This immediately puts your opponent in a difficult position that is tough to get out of, even for highly skilled players.
Moreover, many players choose to try for the triple ring on their first attempt. There’s really nothing wrong with doing so.
However, if you miss, you lose the possibility to score on the double ring, which is easier to throw at. Additionally, don’t take your darts off the dartboard until you’ve tallied your score for that round.
Lastly, are you familiar with the terms “practice makes perfect?” Well, practicing your cricket darts game will help you know your throwing style, preferred number, aim accuracy, etc.
In addition, if you have any chosen numbers, practice will also assist you in closing those first and create a margin in points.
Nevertheless, if you feel more convenient with the lower dartboard numbers, such as 16 or 19, you should start from there. This ensures you gain points more efficiently and allows yourself more time to work on the numbers you are not comfortable with.
Another technique you can use is to deal with the bull’s eye as soon as possible. However, you should note that, for many people, hitting the bull’s eye is the trickiest part of the game.
Nonetheless, even though you have a point advantage, leaving the bull’s eye behind allows your competitor to close the gap. This is, of course, a problem you need to take care of as quickly as possible.
Another piece of advice you can follow is never to try to be a hero! This is something you should always keep in mind, especially if you are playing in a team. If you unintentionally miss your shot, you might put you or perhaps your whole team at risk of losing the game.
So, it’s best to take your shot if you have the opportunity. After all, nothing beats the feeling of finishing a game with a perfect throw.
However, many individuals feel the strain at the climax of the game and may have difficulty hitting the bull’s eye, so have a decent point margin just in case you miss.
Ways to Improve Your Cricket Darts Game
If you want to improve your darts skills, nothing else will let you get there sooner than constant practice. However, tossing multiple darts at a board with no apparent purpose is considered an incredibly wasteful use of time and effort.
With that said, your regular dart training should be done with a purpose in mind. There are several methods for making practice organized and effective.
For example, you can attempt to throw 100 darts at the triple 20. Sequentially aiming for one of the game’s most difficult marks will progressively improve your precision and gives you a perspective from which you can measure your improvement.
Aside from improving your accuracy, the method above will also improve your consistency in a cricket darts game. This is because a player’s ability to consistently throw darts will eventually determine their achievement.
Additionally, learning to be aware of your movements is also critical for a cricket darts player. A common mistake made by players at all skill levels is lacking awareness of their movements during the game.
If you wish to continuously progress, you must avoid this. From the point, you hold the dart until you release it, be mindful of your entire body. It’s best to learn to control your body so that there is no shaking, bouncing, or wavering on your movements.
Next, to attain high rates of consistency, you must minimize as many variables as possible. This entails that your posture, grip, throwing technique, and so on should all remain the same each time you play cricket darts.
To get the correct form, a player must face the dartboard like an archer approaches his target. Typically, the majority of the player’s body weight should be distributed on the front foot. However, when throwing, the rear foot should never lose touch with the floor since this results in imbalance.
Finally, the following method is actually pretty obvious, but many people often prefer to avoid it. If you want to progress as a player, you must practice with opponents with higher skill levels than you.
When you practice with someone more skilled than you are, you have the chance to observe how they perform. You will also be able to see and understand how those players constantly hit the bull’s eye.
I am sure that the above three methods will significantly improve your performance in a cricket darts game. However, please remember that to be a skilled player, you will need to play regularly.
After all, even if you have perfect accuracy, your performance can immediately go downhill once you stop playing regularly.
With that said, playing 3-4 times each week can significantly improve your marksmanship. It is not necessary to play extended competitive matches.
Instead, you can simply grab a handful of darts and have a fun game. Still, without a doubt, playing more frequently will allow you to improve faster.
Lastly, cricket darts are a mental game as well as a physical game. Unfortunately, this factor is frequently overlooked by both newbies and experts. With that said, you must enhance your focus, awareness, and self-assurance to better your game.
Meditation and breathing exercises are thought to bring considerable benefits when playing the game, as well as to other elements of your daily lives. In addition, improving the psychological aspects of your game can help you prepare for those dreadfully tight and intense matches.