how to play cricket darts

How To Play Cricket Darts: Rules and Tips For Beginners

More often than not, whenever any conversation about darts comes up, cricket is usually the first game which comes to mind.

Darts cricket is challenging but very easy to learn, and this probably explains why it is the darts variant that’s most commonly played in bars across America. So what’s this game all about?

This guide will help you learn the basic rules of cricket darts in a matter of few minutes so that you can go have fun with your friend as soon as possible.

Players In Cricket Darts

Cricket darts is often played with two players, or the players can form teams of two.

In what is known as “cutthroat” or 3-way cricket, three players could play as well, but this is a less common format and a bit more tactical because two players can choose to team up against the third.

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Cricket Darts Objective of the game

The goal of this game is to “close” all the numbers in play and to do so before your opponent does so that you end up either even or ahead in total points.

The numbers in play in darts cricket are 20, 19, 18, 17, 16 and 15 (the other numbers on the dart board are ignored), and both the inner and outer bull’s eye.

Cricket Darts Strategy For Beginners

Cricket darts involves a lot of strategy and so it is not uncommon to find a weaker player beating a stronger player.

Have you ever noticed that the cricket darts score chart has the numbers written in descending order (from 20 down to 15) down the centre of the board?

Well, this is indicative of the best scoring strategy, which is to “close” the highest number first then proceed progressively in descending order.

The reason for this is because scoring high points very early in the game gives you a major advantage in that your opponent has a larger gap to cover before they can catch up with you.

Another strategy is to always aim for the triple ring (the thin inner ring) because this will close your number with just one throw.

Additionally, aiming for the triple will quickly accumulate your points if your opponent hasn’t closed that number yet.

Hitting the bull’s eye is most often the most challenging part of this game, and so some players find that it’s easier to take care of the this sooner rather than later.

Closing all the numbers and being ahead in total points but having left the bull “open” will give your opponent a chance to catch up, so it’s always a good idea to close the bull early enough.

Scoring Rules In Cricket Darts

Closing or owning a number means that you must hit three of that number, so either hit three singles, hit a double and a single or hit a triple.

If one player happens to close a number before their opponent does, then the former “owns” that number and will receive the resultant number of points if they happen to hit the number again.

Once the opponent has also closed on the same number though, no further scoring is accomplished on that number by either player.

The thin outer ring is a double and counts as 2 of that number whereas the thin inner ring is a triple and counts as 3 of that number.

On the other hand, the outer bull counts as a single (25 points) while the inner bull counts as a double (50 points).

One interesting thing about cricket is that “closing” all your numbers – including the bull’s eye, does not automatically mean that you have won the game.

A player that has closed all their numbers but has fewer points needs to throw enough points so that their total is even to or more than the opponents.

Points can only be gotten form unclosed numbers so if the only number that’s open is the bull’s eye; the player has to throw enough extra bull’s eyes to catch up with the opponent’s points.

Basic Rules of Cricket Darts

  1. Cricket darts is played on a traditional dart board that’s been hung at the height of 5’8”, measuring from the floor to the centre of the inner bull.
  2. To pick who gets to go first, both players take turns to throw one dart aiming at the bull’s eye. The player whose dart lands closest to the bull’s eye gets to throw first.
  3. The players take turns to throw their darts, and one ‘turn’ constitutes throwing three darts in succession.
  4. Players have to throw from the same spot, preferably 96” from the face of the dartboard.
  5. Numbers can be “closed” or “owned” in any order the player desires.
  6. A player does not have to call their shot.

Cricket Darts Variations

Depending on how fast you would like the game to go, as well as on the skill level of the players involved, there are a couple of variations you can make to cricket darts to make things more exciting. These include:

  • Playing without points.
  • Playing in numerical sequence.
  • Adding more numbers.


A lot of strategy is involved in a well-played game of cricket.

All the same, however, this still stands as being the perfect bar game if you are looking for something that can be played casually and in a relaxed manner.

So, go have fun buddy!