Bars and dart boards go together like peanut butter and jelly — it is rare to see one without the other. As the number of people returning to bars continues to increase, it is time to start refreshing your memory on your favorite bar games or learning new favorites to break out once you get back. When many people see a dartboard, their initial instinct is to take a couple cracks at the bullseye before becoming disinterested and walking away from the dartboards; however, there are many exciting variations of darts that will alter the way you view the dart board moving forward. With darts, one of the most popular variations is a game called cricket.
Cricket can best be described as a race between the two opponents to hit specific numbers on the board, which will eventually grant players the opportunity to score points. More specifically, the goal is to hit each one of the numbers 15-20 and the bullseye three times on the board. Once you have hit a number three times, you are said to have “closed” that number — and this is where the fun begins. If you have closed a number and your opponent has not, then any time you hit that number you will gain points up until the point where your opponent has closed out the number as well.
The scoring is straightforward — the number of points you score on each shot is the value of the number you hit. For example, if you are in the situation described above where you are able to score points and you hit a 20, you would score 20 points. The game is over if the team that has every number closed has more points, as there is no possible way for the team that is behind to score more points if the other team has all its numbers closed. One factor that complicates the scoring and close-outs are the single, double, and triple rings on the dartboard. Hitting a triple area would close out a number immediately, and the same goes for the scoring. Using the same example from before, if you were to hit a 20 in the double ring once you have closed, it would count as 40 points (double 20) toward your score.
Now, for those who are thinking, knowing the rules is nice, but what is the strategy to follow to start beating my buddies and any other potential challengers, you can rest assured. Teaching the rules and nothing else is the equivalent of explaining how to play Monopoly while neglecting to mention that you should always try to buy the orange properties! A general piece of advice is to aim for the higher numbers during your first few rounds , as you will gain more points for hitting a 20 compared to a 15.
One of the most important elements is making sure that you are hitting the same numbers that your opponent is hitting. This way, you are able to prevent them from closing a number quickly and having the opportunity to rack up points on you while you try to close out and save yourself from further damage. Say your opponent has a turn and closes out a number, 20 for example, and you don’t have a single shot on the 20, it would be wise to try to aim for 20 so they aren’t able to gain too many points off any one number. While it is important to make sure that your opponent does not get too far ahead of you on any one number, you don’t want to simply constantly be matching your opponent; instead, you should be looking for numbers where they are far from closing so you can gain an advantage. Like any entertaining game, the nuance of the strategy combined with the ability to throw the darts effectively under pressure is what makes each game thrilling.
Picture Credit: Google Creative Commons Licenses