Cricket Darts Rules - Explained

cricket dart game rules

Cricket Darts - a game that's not only super fun to play but also requires a chess-like strategy to WIN. It's one of the very popular dart games, especially among the Pub-goers.

Cricket darts is a rather simple, and straightforward game that requires very little practice to learn, but is surprisingly sophisticated and can lead to hours of fun with your friends.

Let's take a quick look at what you'll need, the rules of the game, and some other aspects you should be aware of to play your very own round of Cricket Darts!

How to Play Cricket Darts

The object of the game is to score the most amount of points while trying to close 15 to 20 and bulls-eye before your competitor.

The game is played between 2 players or 2 teams. Unlike 301, in cricket darts numbers 15 to 20 and the bulls-eye are the only sections in play. Each player/team takes turns throwing three darts at the board. 

To close a number, you need to score three of the number. So, to close a 20, you can either hit one triple (inner ring), three singles or a double and a single.

The inner circle of the bulls-eye is worth double (50 points), and the outer is worth a single (25 points). 

How do you score points? If you've closed a certain number while the other team has still that number open, in such case, if you hit the number again, you would earn the corresponding points.

So, let's say you have closed the 20, while the other team still has 20 open. Hitting a triple 20 will fetch you 60 points. Similarly, hitting a double 20 will fetch you 40 points. 

If both teams have closed the number, no further scoring can take place on that number.

Sounds simple, right? Well, let's try to break down Cricket dart rules a bit further.

What you'll Need to Play:

  • Any standard dartboard (bristle or electronic)
  • Darts - three for each team/player (check reviews here)
  • Scoreboard (I recommend this).

Common Terms

>> Bulls Eye

The center circle of the dart board. The red in the middle is the 'inner-bullseye' which is worth double (50 points). The green outer circle is the 'outer-bullseye' and it's a single (25 points).

>> Closed

When a number has been scored and is no longer in play. This can be 3 singles, 1 double and 1 single, or even 1 triple.

>> Inning

An Inning is a simple term to refer to when numbers have not been fully closed by a team. Once a number is closed by a team, that 'inning' is over for that player. It does not mark the end of the game.

>> Rings

The rings on the dart board are used to determine the scoring. The outermost ring is called a 'double', the black and white spaces are known as a 'single', the middle ring is a 'triple'. These terms denote the value of points when stuck in these areas on their corresponding number.

Now that we have the basic terminology established, let’s talk about how to play cricket darts.

Cricket Darts Scoring

The game will begin with a scoreboard set up, made of three columns; one column for each player/team and the center marking the numbers 15 - 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - Bulls-eye.

You can either use a chalkboard or get one of ready-made cricket darts scoreboard. I recommend the Scoremaster scoreboard. I personally have one; it's the best.

Alternatively, you can print the Cricket darts score sheet and use it for scoring. Here is the link to the template (Download).

Cricket Darts Scoring

The object of the game is to strike three of each scoring number. A common misconception is that you need to hit the number three times. This is Wrong! You can close the number in one shot if you manage to hit a triple or two shots if you hit a double and a single.

Any other number hit will be counted as a miss, and does not generate points.

When a player strikes a scoring number, they will mark it on the scoreboard. 

It will look as follows:

  • Single will be marked with a '/'
  • Double will be marked with a 'X
  • Triple will be marked with a 'O'
Cricket Darts Sample Scoring

Sample Scoring

When a player/team has scored three 'hits' on a scoring number, that number is 'closed' for that team. However, the player can still strike on that number until both teams 'close' the number.

If a player hits on a number they have closed, but remains open by the opposing team, they will be awarded the point value of the number total denoted on the column (Outer-bullseye is worth 25 points, inner-bullseye is worth 50).

Once a scoring number has been closed by both teams, it can no longer be scored on.

The ultimate aim of the game is to have the most points when all of the scoring numbers and the bullseye have been closed.

Additional Rules

There really are no 'fouls' that are specific to Cricket aside from the common ways of fouling in dart games, i.e. stepping over the line, etc. Also, you need to throw the darts from the standard distance. You can either use a dart mat to mark the oche distance or mark the line using a tape. 

In the case of a foul, the fouling player will forfeit that turn and all darts thrown on that turn will not account for any scoring.

In case the game ends and no players have scored any points, or the game is tied in points, the player who has closed out all of their innings first will be declared the winner.

If the player who closes all of their innings first remains behind in points, they can continue to score on any innings that have not been fully closed by their opponent until their opponent closes all of their innings.

Cricket can be played without points as well. In the case of a 'no-points' game of Cricket, the player that closes out all of their innings first is declared the winner.

Playing without points is a very popular method for casual players who wish to have a quicker and more relaxed game. Ultimately this will be decided by the players beforehand.

Cricket Darts: Common Strategies

One of the most common, and effective strategies for gaining points early is to aim to close out your 20's. This is because they will yield the most points once they are closed. The first player/team to close out their 20's has a great opportunity to gain a lot of points early.

A great defensive strategy is to pay close attention to the numbers that appear easier for your opponents to hit. If you notice early that your opponent has quickly gained 2 points in a certain number, consider targeting that number to prevent them from closing it before you and potentially stacking points against you.

It's a good idea to aim for numbers that may be more difficult to strike early on, especially if you are a total beginner. An example of this could be the bulls-eye.

Aiming for the bulls-eye can easily become a 'miss' that lands on an actual scoring number. In addition, if you get a bit of good fortune and close the bulls-eye early, it's another chance to rack up points quickly.

Summing it up

Cricket is a fun and accessible dart game that can be learned quickly, and help you develop skills that will translate well into other dart games. The game may look simple but requires more than just accuracy. You need to plan your moves just like a chess game so that you end up the highest score.

It's a perfect game for players of all skill levels. Beginners would especially appreciate the forgiving nature of the game while serious players would like how nerve-wracking the game can be.

With the rules and regulation laid out, all you have to do now is go out and play some Cricket Darts!

Other darts games you can try: Baseball Darts, 301/501 Darts.

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